Liverpool scientists to develop space robots with NASA

Jul 19, 2005

Scientists from the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS) at NASA and the University of Liverpool are working together to develop robotic systems used in space that will reduce the need for human space travel.

Scientists from RIACS and computer specialists from the University of Liverpool are investigating ways of improving technology in order to reduce the reliance on humans for space travel and develop the potential for robotic space missions.

University scientists are developing technology that will enable robots to ‘think’ autonomously, so that they might conduct entire space missions without human supervision.

Professor Michael Fisher, Director of the University’s Verification Laboratory, explained: “Autonomy is a major cost driver for space exploration since human missions require large earth-based teams for support. There are also significant risks posed to humans sent into space.

“We are currently studying new forms of software that aim to improve the accuracy of decisions made by space robots so that missions can be completed with greater success. We are also analysing software that will enable robots to work alongside humans in space.”

The RIACS scientists will meet with computer specialists at the University of Liverpool this week to discuss the possibilities for joint human and robot deep space missions and investigate the potential of new software to enable such missions.

Autonomous software components used in space are difficult to verify or control due to the diverse environments that they encounter in the cosmos. It is considered essential by space experts to attempt verification of autonomous software before deployment, as these systems are among the most complex and error prone to develop.

Source: University of Liverpool

Explore further: We're not alone—but the universe may be less crowded than we think

Related Stories

Me and my world: The human factor in space

14 hours ago

The world around us is defined by how we interact with it. But what if our world was out of this world? As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how astronauts interact with the "world" ...

Image: Where Philae phones home

Jun 17, 2015

The receipt of signals from Rosetta's Philae lander on 13 June after 211 days of hibernation marked the start of intense activity. In coordination with its mission partners, ESA teams are working to juggle ...

Towards characterization of grass and crops from orbit

Jun 12, 2015

Estonian researchers and farmers start to investigate together with the German Aerospace Center novel methods for characterization of grass and crops from data acquired by the German radar satellite formation ...

Recommended for you

What is a terrestrial planet?

14 hours ago

In studying our solar system over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery ...

Working out in artificial gravity

15 hours ago

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.