Space as a frontier is bursting with unique challenges and opportunities, for mankind and especially for roboticists. Novel technologies are required to engage the harsh realities of space and further space science, exploration, and development. Among other projects, the lab focuses on: (1) small assistive free-flying robots, such as the Astrobee robots soon to be operational on the International Space Station, (2) space robot manipulator systems, for on-orbit tasks such as satellite servicing and debris removal, (3) hopping rovers (e.g. Hedgehog) for efficient mobility on small Solar System bodies with extremely low gravity, such as asteroids and comets, (4) gecko-inspired adhesive grippers, a novel space-qualified technology for grasping surfaces, enabling robust capture and manipulation even of large, tumbling objects, (5) multi-agent, modular robots for collaborative, multi-modal mobility (e.g., flying, swimming, rolling) on bodies such as Titan having an atmosphere.
Keywords: Space Systems, Motion Planning, Control Systems
Students: Andrew Bylard