SPACE ROBOTICS TOPIC GROUP
Space robotics encompasses the use of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems in Space, such as planetary robotics, orbital robotics, robotic manipulation and multi-robot collaboration. These domains include, but are not limited to, space exploration, in-orbit servicing and maintenance, in-space assembly, multi-robot collaboration, teleoperation, extended reality, Space Resource Utilization (SRU) / In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Space Robotics is an emerging research and innovation topic that is expected to be the disruptive technology for new Space ERA and the cornerstone for new multi-millionaire market opportunities in Space. The value propositions of Space Robotics include creating new activities in Space and increasing the autonomy in current applications such as planetary exploration, in-space maintenance or orbital rendezvous.
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The goal and scope of the Space Robotics topic group is to influence and drive the research, development and operative deployment of robotics in Space. We do so by organizing workshops to connect stakeholders and discuss challenges, success stories and next steps between domains and throughout value chains. Moreover, we coordinate input from the Space Robotics robotics community in Europe to highlight needs, possibilities and challenges regarding in-space activities. We structure and summarize the input in major themes, use cases and challenges in Space robotics. This is then shared with the topic group, and, e.g., used to support euRobotics and ADRA roadmapping processes.
Some of the cross-use case challenges identified so far include to increase autonomy and efficiency in Space robotics; verification and validation in high-fidelity laboratories, and field tests / analogue missions; Robustness and reliability; as well as improving human-machine interface managing the large communication delays. All relevant information is available through the topic group’s wiki accessible for all topic group members including, e.g., end-users/infrastructure owners, technology/service providers, universities and research organizations.