For the first couple flights, we'll use roving robots for the
long-range exploration and to shelter the habitat after the crew is gone. In
fact, we'll probably always using rovers for long-range exploration, at least
for several decades.
Automation for fine-manipulation tasks is less cost-effective.
have to design things to be manipulated by robots, the cost and weight go way
up. To get a full appreciation of this, find a robotics lab and try working
the waldoes yourself. That's where torque reaction fittings and alignment
guides and positioning targets come into play; suddenly a one-ounce bolt
weighs five pounds.
Automating functions inside the spacecraft, like throwing switches and
turning knobs, can be done better by providing a general purpose telerobot
which is able to reach all those switches and knobs. They tried this with the
Charlotte robot on the last SPACEHAB flight
with great success. One option to
consider is having our crew set up a Charlotte just before they button up the
module. Alternatively, we could use lightweight manipulators sort of like
miniature versions of the Shuttle RMS. (This is said with the space station
RMS in mind; but most folks may not be intimately familiar with that design.
The primary design difference is staggered joints and redundant motors.)
Copyright © 2007 Artemis Society International, for the
contributors. All rights reserved.
This web site contains many trade names and copyrighted articles and images.
ASI Web Team
Submit update to this page.
Maintained with WebSite Director.
Updated Sat, Aug 28, 1999.