Space Robotics TC (historical)
The Space Robotics TC Website has moved to
on Sepbember 23, 2011. Please update your links.
The Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Technical Committee (TC) on Space Robotics
was formed in May, 2006. In October, 2006, the
voted to broaden the scope of interest of our TC to include planetary robotics (rovers)
along with our initial focus on in-space (orbital) robotics.
1.1 Orbital Robotics
Automated Walking Inspection and Maintenance Robot (AWIMR).
The space (orbital) environment (micro-gravity, radiation, contamination sensitivity, thermal extremes, etc.)
poses unique challenges to robotics and robot algorithms. The space (non-planetary) robotics
discipline will find increasing importance in coming years, particularly as the opportunities for
human-robot and robot-robot cooperation arise in space exploration. Priority areas for this
technical committee include:
- Microgravity locomotion, including vehicle gripping techniques in microgravity.
Space adapted grippers include sticky polymeric and electrostatic, as well as more
conventional mechanical devices. Locomotion strategies also include leaping and free
- Command and control interfaces, including teleoperated modes.
- Power sources and consumable recharging techniques.
- Radiation hardening and effects on processing throughput.
- Glare and glint effects on machine vision.
- Thermal considerations in space robot design.
1.2 Planetary Rovers
Mars Science Laboratory.
The planetary environment also poses unique challenges. The distance to planetary surfaces
precludes real-time teleoperation. Planetary rover technical topics include:
- Natural terrain navigation.
- Novel vehicle design concepts.
- Terrain relative precision position estimation.
- System design and software integration.
- Command and control with limited bandwidth.
- Field tests on Earth and Mars.
2.0 Upcoming Activities
2.1 The 8th International Conference on Field and Service Robotics
July 20-22, 2011, Matsushima, Miyagi, Japan
call for papers.
3.0 Past Activities
3.1 JUSTSAP Symposium 2010
Held on the Island of Hawaii at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel November 14-18, 2010, the 20th
(Japan-U.S. Technology and Space Applications) Symposium was attended by SRTC member Rick Wagner.
Here is his
3.2 ICRA 2010
TC Co-Chair Richard Volpe coordinated a
Planetary Rovers Workshop
at the 2010 International Conference on Robotics and Automation
in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, May 3, 2010.
Rick Wagner attended the TC Co-Chairs Meeting and the RAS TAB Meeting. Here is his
3.3 RAM Special Issue on Space Robotics
A special issue on space robotics of the RAS's Robotics and
Automation Magazine (RAM) has been published in
December of 2009. The editors of the
special issue are:
- Gianfranco Visentin, Head, Automation and Robotics Section, European Space Agency (ESA)
- Richard Volpe (JPL/Caltech, IEEE R&A Technical Comm. On Space Robotics, Co-chair
- Rick Wagner (NGC), IEEE R&A Technical Comm. On Space Robotics, Co-chair
3.4 RAS Chapter Guest Speaker
TC founding member Dr. Edward Tunstel was the guest speaker for the RAS Washington Section
Chapter on March 6, 2008 at the University of Maryland. His topic was "Space Robotics
for Science and Exploration on Planetary Surfaces."
From Dr. Tunstel's abstract:
This talk provides an overview of some of the robotics technologies receiving attention today
to enable needed capabilities for current and future missions on the surfaces of other planets.
See the event flyer (linked below) for more information.
Event flyer PDF file
3.5 2008 Space Robotics Workshop
Space Robotics Workshops
were held at ICRA '08 (May 19 and 20, 2008), one on planetary rovers, organized by TC Co-Chair
Rich Volpe, and one on orbital robotics, organized by TC Corresponding Co-Chair Rick Wagner.
3.6 Space Robotics Presentation
Rick Wagner gave a presentation on the TC, space robotics in general, and lessons learned
on the Northrop Grumman AWIMR project at the November 13, 2007 meeting of the
Robotics, Computational Intelligence, and Cybernetics Chapter
(RCICC) of the IEEE at the building S Forum at One Space Park, Redondo Beach, CA, 70278, at 6:30 PM.
Pizza was served and the interested public was invited. The presentation seemed to be well received
by those in attendance.
3.7 Participation in IROS 2007
Corresponding Co-Chair Rick Wagner attended IROS 2007 and wrote this
3.8 Space Robotics Workshop at
Our Space Robotics Workshop at ICRA 2007 in Rome, Italy, 10-14 April, was well attended and received.
Organized by TC founding Co-Chair Rich Volpe and founding Co-Chair Rick Wagner, the workshop combined
both planetary robotics (rovers) with in-space (orbital) robotics
topics, in keeping with our larger scope of interest for the TC. See our Web page
ICRA '07 Space Robotics Workshop
for more information and some photographs from the workshop.
3.9 AIAA SARTC
The RAS Space Robotics TC Co-Chair, Rick Wagner, presented a description of our TC to the
meeting at NASA Ames Research Center on September 19, 2006. See his
on the meeting.
- Founding Date: May 19, 2006
- Member Count: 25
- 2010 Committee Chairs:
- Dimi Apostolopoulos, Carnegie-Mellon University
- Richard Volpe, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
email: volpe at jpl dot nasa dot gov
- Kazuya Yoshida, Tohoku University, email: yoshida at astro.mech.tohoku.ac.jp
The Space Robotics TC now has 25 members. Please see our
page for more information. To join, send an email to Rich Volpe (volpe at jpl dot nasa dot gov).
Also see the
RAS Technical Committees
SpaceRoboticsTC.old.html, this hand-crafted HTML file was created August 22, 2006.
Converted to a historical site on September 23, 2011.
Last updated September 23, 2011, by