Robonaut 2 and Robonaut 2
Photo Credit: Courtesy NASA
So, imagine a team of robots – all kinds of robots – some with wheels, some bipedal, some that fly. Now imagine those robots working as partners with astronauts on some future space mission. This may be on an asteroid or maybe even Mars.
Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) already work with robots, mostly in the form of robotic arms, to accomplish their tasks, so this in not a far-fetched concept. Robonaut 2, shown in the photo above, will soon fly on the ISS to demonstrate that NASA-developed space robots can work closely with their human team members in space exploration.
In this story from Computerworld, written by Sharon Gaudin, robots are seen as full partners in space exploration. What do you think of this? Will humans need robotic companions on space missions? This seems like a good bet since robots already play an essential role in current space activities. Read the story at the link below.
That's the image that a lot of the U.S. space agency's engineers have in mind as they work on the new robotic rovers, said Terry Fong, director of NASA's intelligent robotics group. In comparison, the Mars rovers on the Red Planet have been working alone for years.
"We're working on a new use of these robots -- robots to support human exploration," Fong told Computerworld this week. "NASA is now thinking, 'How do you go about sending humans to the moon or Mars or elsewhere? How can you use the combination of humans and robots to do exploration better?' I think it's a really, really fundamentally different approach."