X-ROB: Europe’s €500,000 Moon and Mars robotic assembly study

by | Jan 23, 2009 | Seradata News | 1 comment

ESA Exoskeleton.jpg
credit ESA / caption: could Moon mission astronauts use robots to be super people?

The European Space Agency’s Aurora core programme €500,000 ($640,000) EXploration Robotics Requirements and Concepts (X-ROB) study is investigating robots for assembly, inspection and the maintenance of space ships in low Earth, Moon or Martian orbit and for landers on the lunar surface

Based at the agency’s technical centre in the Netherlands X-ROB will also examine robots for surface scouting and the assembly, inspection, and maintenance of “manned elements”.

ESA’s procurement information for X-ROB says

The study shall identify which tasks can be carried out by specific or general-purpose robot systems. The study shall also detail the needs for independent and crew-cooperative operation of the robot system. In addition, requirements shall be produced for a general-purpose robot system with a modular and re-usable architecture.

If its “crew co-operative” could astronauts use exoskeletons like the one in the pictrue above to move large surface modules by hand to assemble a lunar facility? I am hoping to get more information soon, especially about the robotic assembly of spacecraft in lunar orbit 

ESA has apparently already developed some of the modular elements for such a robot, like the limbs, joints and arms, as part of its rover projects, “Enhanced ExoMars” and “TEC technology roadmap”, which was coordinated with ESA’s space station remote manipulator EUROBOT development

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