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interview by   -   July 14, 2020

In this episode, Lilly interviews Dr. William Crowe, CEO of High Earth Orbit (HEO) Robotics. The mission of HEO Robotics is to provide high quality imagery of satellites, space-debris and resource-rich asteroids. Crowe discusses the technical challenges which make robotics and satellites similar like computer vision and controls, and those where traditional robotics approaches aren’t suitable like localization and mobility. He explains new trends in the satellite industry, and the need for high quality imagery.

interview by   -   April 28, 2020

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks with Janet Vertessi, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton, on her book Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars. The book is written about her experience living and working with NASA’s Mars Rover team, and includes her observations about the team’s leadership and their relationship with their robot millions of miles away on Mars. She also gives some advice from her findings for teams.

by   -   April 24, 2017

In a time of “America First,” the benefits of space travel are clouded by the smoke of hyperbole. In reality, there has been over 2,000 inventions courtesy of NASA that are making our lives better here on Earth. Every day, we benefit as much from the journey as from the destination. These innovations include new medicines developed in zero gravity; faster autonomous transportation technologies; and groundbreaking advances in computing (launched above the clouds).

by   -   April 21, 2017

NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and entrepreneurs aiming to jump-start human colonisation of space see the 3D printing of large scale objects, including entire habitations, as a major enabling technology for the future of space exploration.

by   -   November 21, 2016

Space will soon be within the grasp of everyday people, small countries, researchers or start-up companies thanks to a fleet of low-cost launch vehicles under development across Europe.

by   -   November 11, 2016
This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the "Quela" drilling location in the "Murray Buttes" area on lower Mount Sharp. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the “Quela” drilling location in the “Murray Buttes” area on lower Mount Sharp. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Late morning, red skies over Mars, and the first human interloper emerges from her landing craft to review the dusty expanse. As she eases carefully down the ladder towards the alien earth, her mind spins with the words that, like Armstrong’s, will echo forever in the human conscious. She speaks and, when her signal reaches home just over three minutes later, 11 billion hearts skip a beat. It’s a powerful image, oft perpetuated in such media as the upcoming National Geographic “global event series” MARS. But below is another, far realer image: the crater left by Schiaparelli after its parachute jettisoned too early and it ploughed into the Martian surface, fatally. Images like this illustrate the truly difficult, dangerous and costly business of spaceflight.

by   -   November 2, 2016

r2t2_illu_fullres_highresToday, the Swiss Robotics Industry Day will play host to the R2t2 rescue mission and we are heading straight for the future!

by   -   October 21, 2016
Photo: Gretchen Ertl
Photo: Gretchen Ertl

Sarah Hensley is preparing an astronaut named Valkyrie for a mission to Mars. It is 6 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds, and is equipped with an extended chest cavity that makes it look distinctly female. Hensley spends much of her time this semester analyzing the movements of one of Valkyrie’s arms.

by   -   October 20, 2016
Image: ESA
Image: ESA/ATG medialab

In Darmstadt, Germany, European Space Agency (ESA) teams are scrambling to confirm contact with the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), Schiaparelli—the spectre of Philae still haunting the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC). Whether or not ESA ever speak to Schiaparelli again, the risky business of space robotics is once more laid bare.

Editors note: Since this article was written, ESA are attempting to decode a partial signal from the EDM

by   -   October 6, 2016
Curiosity Heading for Mount Sharp, during the 329th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars (July 9, 2013).  The turret of tools at the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm is in the foreground, with the rover’s rock-sampling drill in the lower left corner of the image. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Curiosity Heading for Mount Sharp, during the 329th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars (July 9, 2013). The turret of tools at the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm is in the foreground, with the rover’s rock-sampling drill in the lower left corner of the image. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

NASA may be known for sending men to the moon, establishing the International Space Station, and planning for a base on Mars—but apart from astronauts, its best-known spokesmen aren’t men at all—they’re robots.

Rovers like Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, and landers like Viking and Philae, make the perfect ambassadors into hostile, freezing, and nearly airless environments. Not only do these explorers bring back valuable scientific data from Earth’s planetary neighbors, they also make perfect showcases for practical robotics.

by   -   October 3, 2016
Overview of the experiment and the internal sensor readings of the drone.
Overview of the experiment and the internal sensor readings of the drone.

During an experiment performed on board of the International Space Station (ISS) a small drone successfully learned by itself to see distances using only one eye, reported scientists at the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

interview by   -   September 17, 2016

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In this episode, Ron Vanderkley interviews Jürgen “Juxi” Leitner, a researcher at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Robots Vision in the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Leitner speaks about a system being developed for the Google Lunar XPrize, called LunaRoo.

by   -   August 31, 2016
Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)
Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

After five years of competition by more than 40 different teams from around the globe, NASA’s Sample Return Robot Challenge has reached its final stage. The top seven teams will compete for the $1.36 million prize purse on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts, Sept. 4-6.

by   -   August 18, 2016

Competitors work in a virtual environment and aim to improve the autonomy and dexterity of humanoid robots.

by   -   May 11, 2016
European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake captured this photograph of the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft as it undocked from the International Space Station on May 11, 2016. Image Credit: ESA/NASA:
European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake captured this photograph of the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft as it undocked from the International Space Station on May 11, 2016. Image Credit: ESA/NASA:

Every few weeks, Robohub will post a roundtable chat and discuss an engaging topic relating to robotics. In this edition, we looked at how can robotics can be part of space exploration. Privatisation has certainly been a boon for companies, like SpaceX. What can we expect in the future? We strongly encourage our Robohub readers to chime in and be part of the conversation!

This chat features Sabine Hauert, Andra Keay, Kassie Perlongo, Yannis Erripis, John Payne and Audrow Nash, providing a range of perspectives from research, business, technical and the general public.



Exploring from a Distance
July 28, 2020


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