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: In space capsules, little room but big improvement

Related Stories

Preparing to fly Sentinel-5P

September 26, 2017

The teams that will fly Sentinel-5P are training intensively for launch, ensuring that everyone knows their job and can react to any emergency.

Drones can almost see in the dark

September 20, 2017

UZH researchers have taught drones how to fly using an eye-inspired camera, opening the door to them performing fast, agile maneuvers and flying in low-light environments. Possible applications could include supporting rescue ...

Earth through different eyes

September 21, 2017

In the 1960s, photographs of Earth taken by the first astronauts captured the imaginations of people across the world. The pictures not only became icons for space exploration, but also the fragility of our planet. But astronauts ...

NASA's near-Earth asteroid CubeSat goes full sail

September 28, 2017

NASA's Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, a small satellite the size of a shoebox, designed to study asteroids close to Earth, performed a full-scale solar sail deployment test at ManTech NeXolve's facility in Huntsville, Alabama, ...

Recommended for you

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

October 22, 2017

Until recently, glaciers in the United States have been measured in two ways: placing stakes in the snow, as federal scientists have done each year since 1957 at South Cascade Glacier in Washington state; or tracking glacier ...

When words, structured data are placed on single canvas

October 22, 2017

If "ugh" is your favorite word to describe entering, amending and correcting data on the rows and columns on spreadsheets you are not alone. Coda, a new name in the document business, feels it's time for a change. This is ...

Dawn mission extended at Ceres

October 20, 2017

NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before ...

Metacognition training boosts gen chem exam scores

October 20, 2017

It's a lesson in scholastic humility: You waltz into an exam, confident that you've got a good enough grip on the class material to swing an 80 percent or so, maybe a 90 if some of the questions go your way.

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

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.