Liverpool scientists to develop space robots with NASA

July 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: New white paper showcases the future of space robotics

Related Stories

New white paper showcases the future of space robotics

July 22, 2016

Autonomous robots capable of walking, swimming and climbing, will replicate insects, birds, animals and even humans on future missions of space exploration within decades, according to a new UK-RAS Network white paper led ...

Avoiding stumbles, from spacewalks to sidewalks

July 22, 2016

Video of astronauts tripping over moon rocks can make for entertaining Internet viewing, but falls in space can jeopardize astronauts' missions and even their lives. Getting to one's feet in a bulky, pressurized spacesuit ...

Image: Far-out Proba-3

July 13, 2016

ESA's double-satellite Proba-3 mission will be flying where no previous member of the Proba minisatellite family has gone before – up to 60 000 km away, a seventh of the way to the Moon.

Lisa Pathfinder completes first operations phase

June 27, 2016

On Saturday 25 June, the LISA Technology Package (LTP) – a European payload on ESA's LISA Pathfinder – completes its nominal operations phase, passing the baton to the Disturbance Reduction System, an additional experiment ...

Recommended for you

Jupiter's great red spot heats planet's upper atmosphere

July 27, 2016

Researchers from Boston University's (BU) Center for Space Physics report today in Nature that Jupiter's Great Red Spot may provide the mysterious source of energy required to heat the planet's upper atmosphere to the unusually ...

0 comments

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.