Robohub.org
 

Know your robot space torsos: Justin, Robonaut, SAR-400, & AILA

by
04 March 2013



share this:


Astronauts: awesome, but only human
It’s cold out there beyond the blue. Full of radiation. Low on breathable air. Vacuous. It’s hard to keep machines and organic creatures functioning and/or alive. Space to-do lists are full of dangerous, fantastically boring, and super-precise stuff.

We technological mammals assess thusly:
Robots. Robots should be doing this.

Enter “Team Space Torso”
As covered by IEEE a few days ago, the DLR (das German Aerospace Center) released a new video detailing the ins & outs of their tele-operational haptic feedback-capable Justin space robot. It’s a smooth system, and eventually ground-based or orbiting operators will just strap on what look like two extra arms, plug in to an augmented reality interface, and go to work. Justin’s target missions are the kind of risky, tedious, and very precise tasks best undertaken by something human-shaped, but preferably remotely controlled. He’s not a new robot, but Justin’s skillset is growing (DLR video).

Now, meet the rest of the gang:

NASA’s Robonaut2 (full coverage), the first and only humanoid robot in space, has of late been focusing on the ferociously difficult but mundane tasks of button pushing and knob turning, but hey, WHO’S IN SPACE, HUH? Then you’ve got Russia’s elusive SAR-400, which probably exists, but seems to hide behind, ummm, an iron curtain? Rounding out the team is another German, AILA. The nobody-knows-why-it’s-feminized AILA is another DLR-funded project from a university robotics and A.I. lab with a 53-syllable name (here).

Why humanoid torso-bots?
Robotic tools have been up in space for decades, but they’ve basically been iterative improvements on the same multi-joint single-arm grabber/manipulator. NASA’s recent and successful Robotic Refueling Mission is an expansion of mission-capable space robots, but as more and more vital satellites age, collect damage, and/or run out of juice, and more and more humans and their stuff blast into orbit, simple arms and auto-refuelers aren’t going to cut it.

Eventually, tele-operable and semi-autonomous humanoids will become indispensable crew members, and the why of it breaks down like this: 1. space stations, spacecraft, internal and extravehicular maintenance terminals, these are all designed for human use and manipulation; 2. what’s the alternative, a creepy human-to-spider telepresence interface? and 3. humanoid space robots are cool and make fantastic marketing platforms.

A space humanoid, whether torso-only or legged (see: Robotnaut’s new legs), will keep astronauts safe, focused on tasks that machines can’t do, and decrease the likelihood of space craziness caused by astronauts attempting to hold a tiny pinwheel perfectly still next to an air vent for two hours – which, in fact, is slated to become one of Robonaut’s ISS jobs.

Make sciencey space torsos not MurderDeathKillBots
As one is often want to point out, rather than finding ways to creatively dismember and vaporize each other, it would be nice if we humans could focus on the lovely technologies of space travel, habitation, and exploration. Nations competing over who can make the most useful and sexy space humanoid is an admirable step, so let the Global Robot Space Torso Arms Race begin!

“Torso Arms Race!”
Keepin’ it real, yo.

DLR’s Justin tele-operation interface:

• • •

[SPACEJUSTIN TELE-OPERATION SITUATION – IEEE]

Robot space torso projects:
[JUSTIN – GERMANY/DLR • FACEBOOK • TWITTER]
[ROBONAUT – U.S.A./NASA • FACEBOOK • TWITTER]
[SAR-400 – RUSSIA/ROSCOSMOS – PLASTIC PALS • ROSCOSMOS FACEBOOK]
[AILA – GERMANY/DAS DFKI]



tags: , , , , , ,


Reno Tibke Reno J. Tibke is a generalist researcher and commentator on robotics, cybernetics, and nonbiological intelligence. He is the founder of Anthrobotic.com, a contributor at Robohub.org, editor at AkihabaraNews.com, and co-founder of Tokyo-based multimedia production firm DigitalHub.JP.
Reno Tibke Reno J. Tibke is a generalist researcher and commentator on robotics, cybernetics, and nonbiological intelligence. He is the founder of Anthrobotic.com, a contributor at Robohub.org, editor at AkihabaraNews.com, and co-founder of Tokyo-based multimedia production firm DigitalHub.JP.





Related posts :



Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by

Robohub gets a fresh look

If you visited Robohub this week, you may have spotted a big change: how this blog looks now! On Tuesday (coinciding with Ada Lovelace Day and our ‘50 women in robotics that you need to know about‘ by chance), Robohub got a massive modernisation on its look by our technical director Ioannis K. Erripis and his team.
17 October 2021, by
ep.

339

podcast

High Capacity Ride Sharing, with Alex Wallar

In this episode, our interviewer Lilly speaks to Alex Wallar, co-founder and CTO of The Routing Company. Wallar shares his background in multi-robot path-planning and optimization, and his research on scheduling and routing algorithms for high-capacity ride-sharing. They discuss how The Routing Company helps cities meet the needs of their people, the technical ins and outs of their dispatcher and assignment system, and the importance of public transit to cities and their economics.
12 October 2021, by

50 women in robotics you need to know about 2021

It’s Ada Lovelace Day and once again we’re delighted to introduce you to “50 women in robotics you need to know about”! From the Afghanistan Girls Robotics Team to K.G.Engelhardt who in 1989 ...
12 October 2021, by and

Join the Women in Robotics Photo Challenge

How can women feel as if they belong in robotics if we can't see any pictures of women building or programming robots? The Civil Rights Activist Marian Wright Edelson aptly said, "You can't be what yo...
12 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association