Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

British designers lend hand in NASA space mission

28.07.2005


British design experts from Sheffield Hallam University are the brains behind a revolutionary robotic arm helping NASA refine its safety in the wake of the Columbia shuttle disaster. The artificial joints of the robot arm exactly replicate the workings of a human limb.



The Discovery space mission, re-scheduled to launch yesterday at 15:39 BST, will carry out vital safety tests using a 50-foot robot arm, designed with help from researchers at Sheffield Hallam University.

Professor Chris Rust and Dr Graham Whiteley, from the University’s internationally-renowned Art and Design Research Centre, spent three years pioneering a precision-engineered artificial arm, with joints that move just like real ones, to enable natural movement.


Their original aim was to help manufacture prosthetic arms, but their success in creating a true-to-life was picked up by NASA for possible development in future space missions.

This early ground-breaking work has helped developed the model arm that the seven-member Discovery crew will use in their 12-day mission.
The Discovery mission will take essential parts and supplies to the International Space Station and carry out vital safety tests, in the hope of reducing the possibility of accidents such as 2003’s Columbia disaster.

Dr Chris Rust said, “This research is a very practical demonstration of how creative thinking and practice can make a difference in fields of research which have always been thought of as the province of scientists and engineers.

“Our prototype arm stands as a demonstration test-rig for the joint designs for a robotic arm.”

The robotic arm prototype was adapted by NASA scientists at their Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, using plastic muscles. They used the new models to conduct arm-wrestling contests between a human and three different versions of a robot arm.

The arm may also be developed into a horse-like Lunar Rover with the ability to climb steep inclines like a horse or a monkey, making space exploration much easier.

Kate Burlaga | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shu.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole
22.02.2018 | Royal Astronomical Society

nachricht UMass Amherst physicists contribute to dark matter detector success
22.02.2018 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>