35

Between them, Spirit and Opportunity spent the equivalent of 22 years performing geology fieldwork on Mars. In that time, they managed a scientific output comparable to what a single geology grad student could do in two weeks. Between them, Luna 16, Luna 20, Luna 24, and Chang'e 5 returned about 2.3 kg of material from four sampling sites. Neil Armstrong, ...


32

One of the most important reasons is that robots don't make great interview partners. A significant part of space missions is outreach and inspiring people. Another important part is giving people a different view of our planet. Astronauts over and over again describe the awesome feeling of being able to see how small and fragile our planet is, and the ...


14

Like the SSRMS itself, it's rather complicated. The "control panel" is called the Robotics Workstation (RWS). There are two of them onboard the ISS. One is in the US Lab, the other in the Cupola. An RWS consists of four main parts. 1) The Display and Control Panel, which has hardware switches for Camera routing and control Joint selection for single ...


12

These are some of the SPHERES satellites. They're little flying robots, driven by pressurised gas, intended to fly around inside the station. They were created for various indoor experiments, such as docking and formation flying, without needing some extremely complicated (and easily lost) system rated for independent flight outside the station. They've ...


10

There are other robotic tools similar to what you describe being developed for assisting astronauts such as the SPHERES project at MIT. The primary reason Robonaut is humanoid is that it can essentially use tools and grab onto components exactly how an astronaut would -- meaning no special considerations are required when designing components for servicing (...


8

A singularity in this context is simply a configuration of the manipulator system in which a degree of freedom is lost. For example, for the Shuttle and ISS arms, the elbow singularity occurs when the elbow joint angle nears 180 degrees; the degree of freedom lost is the ability to translate the end effector away from the shoulder joint. The relationship ...


7

The RMS had six joints. (It is shown here holding the Orbiter inspection boom.) The rotational position of each joint was measured by internal 16-bit optical encoders giving a precision of 0.0055 deg. However, since no mechanical device is perfect, corrections (known as "encoder biases") for the differences between "encoder zero" and "mechanical zero" were ...


7

To answer the question as it is asked: the "artist" would most likely be one of the SPHERES PIs. However, the patterns, aesthetically pleasing though they may be, have a specific purpose other than "art". They are part of the VERTIGO upgrade to the SPHERES payload, which is intended to test computer vision algorithms for maneuvering around an unknown ...


7

The Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) is a seven-jointed teleoperated manipulator used on the International Space Station (ISS). Each end of the manipulator is composed of a Latching End Effector (LEE) which serves a dual purpose: to grapple payloads, and to mount the manipulator on the ISS. The LEE can only attach ("grapple") to specially ...


7

Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary? Because robotics and AI aren't so developed as to totally replace humans (who are very versatile). Having said that, there are lots of robotic space probes and landers, but not too many people in space.


6

I'll have to let you count them because there are some ambiguities that arise from the use of the Mobile Transporter (MT)...but here are the possible walk-offs. These are the fixed base-capable Power and Data Grapple Fixtures (PDGFs) on the ISS US Laboratory Nadir-Port Side Node 2 Nadir Side FGB Forward-Port Side This picture shows the Space Station ...


6

Nanobots are easy to describe, hard to design. Conceptually they are similar to a biological cell. They need to be able to extract energy from the environment, store that energy, store a copy of their build instructions, and finally use that energy to execute those instructions. While it is hard to put limits on hypothetical technology we can make some ...


6

This is actually quite a serious issue, and one that has been solved in a variety of ways. The method I'm most familiar with is Reaction Wheels, and I'll try and cover some of the other key points as well. There are basically two kinds of reaction wheels. The first kind is those that are sealed up, done to make it easier to manage the lubrication. The ...


6

This student competition involved writing code to command the SPHERES. The scenario and requirements were presented as follows: The Red SPHERES Satellite is in trouble. Increasing numbers of satellites are being deployed to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to study Earth’s atmosphere, climate, land, oceans, and weather. To protect the success of this important ...


6

Necessity Why is anything "necessary"? Who gets to define that? The biological imperative, if you will, is to survive, reproduce, and exploit every niche. Look all over the planet, and you will see that living systems have done exactly that, to a degree well beyond human engineering. If space is a new niche for humans, especially other planets, ...


5

This graph shows the common failure modes experienced during the first 100 cubesat missions. Note the large fraction of failed missions that never made contact with the ground after launch; no failure analysis on those. I assume ADC is Attitude Determination and Control, but it doesn't say so in the paper. Source


5

The Apollo program involved pretty heavy investigations into spacesuit designs since walking around on the Moon was obviously a lot more demanding than sitting in a capsule or even EVAs. Check out this Moon Machines episode if you are interested. Some of the concepts that were considered included hard-shell suits like those used for deep ocean dives, and ...


5

Why is the physical presence of people in spacecraft still necessary? The physical presence of people on most spacecraft is not necessary, not even those rated to carry passengers. Having humans doing the exploring in person is mostly aspirational rather than actual; most space exploration has been done remotely, using probes of varying complexity and ...


4

The most definitive answer I can find is that ROS's website lists Robonaut2 as the only robot using ROS under the space tag. If this is the case, it would in fact make Astrobee the second time a robot uses ROS in space (assuming nothing else gets launched before Astrobee). I can't find mention of anything else using ROS that currently has a plan to be ...


4

Three. SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) Dextre aka SPDM (Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator) JEMRMS (Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System) The SPDM is pretty complicated having two arms of its own, a rotatable waist joint, tool platforms, etc. In your picture, the SSRMS is holding the SPDM. The picture below shows it ...


4

No. According to page 221 of NASA's 1998 report TM-98-206956/VOL1, Living Together in Space: The Design and Operation of the Life Support Systems on the International Space Station (page 255 of the pdf file), a 28 Vdc brush-type motor ... 14.85 W peak drives the relief valve of ISS's Positive Pressure Relief Assembly (PPRA).


4

The paper Astrobee:Developing a Free-flyingRobot for the International Space Station explains the propulsion system rougly in two sentence: Astrobee’s propulsion system consists of a propulsion module on each of two sides of the free flyer (Figure3). Each module includes a centrifugal fan that pressurizes the module, and nozzles on the x, y, and z axes to ...


4

Answer merged into one larger one.


4

Even if robots were still used for most of the fieldwork (which I think is likely even with a human presence because spacesuits, and the humans inside them, are fragile and expensive), having a human in a habitat nearby would be a great advantage for scientific research. Due to communication delays and often the lack of a stable radio connection, near real-...


3

I do recall reading about this very issue in a book about the Spirit & Opportunity rovers. Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the Mars Exploration Rovers by William J. Clancey, paperback 2014 ISBN: 9780262526807 https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/working-mars https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qf8pm While not strictly "Robot Scientist&...


3

As of March 4, 2018, it appears that they are mailing Robonaut home! Robonaut: The crew prepared and stowed Robonaut in preparation for return on SpaceX-14. Robonaut is a humanoid robot designed with the versatility and dexterity to manipulate hardware, work in high risk environments, and respond safely to unexpected obstacles. It is comprised of ...


3

I think the Int-Ball uses all fans in a "push-configuration" and only does have passive air inlets in it's chassis. The internals of the chassis are therefore "empty" enough to enable sufficient airflow to the fans. On this website if found a picture credited to JAXA: You can see those "Air inlets" in your first picture at the bottom of the drone.


3

Here is a selection of robotic equipment that has been at/in/on the ISS, feel free to add additional references: Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) can autonomously control a centrifuge, among other functions. While holding at 1G may fall under the "routine movement" section of the question, the centrifuge can alternate between a range of gees, which ...


3

The answer to your headline question is that gloves with fingers have been used so far because remote-controlled robot hands with good tactile feedback are still an unsolved problem even now. Force-feedback mechanisms are expensive and tricky to get right, and they can be dangerous if the motors you use to transmit the force are too strong. Creating a way to ...


3

The best way I know of to keep up with R2 is by searching the (usually updated daily) ISS On-orbit Status Reports for "robonaut". The actual Robonaut web pages, like many NASA sites, are not updated very often. When I just performed this search, it sounds like some major problems have been encountered in July and August of this year, and may not yet be ...


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