FISO: Co-Robots and the future of space activity – Madhu Thangavelu

The latest presentation to the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) study group is now posted in the FISO Working Group Presentations Archive. Both slides (pdf) and audio (mp3) are available for the talk,  Co-Robots and the Future of Space Activity, Madhu Thangavelu , USC – Jan.8.14

Space exploration and development is often presented as a robot versus manned binary choice but it is really robot versus manned + robot. To accomplish significant development in space, humans will need the productivity multipliers provided by robots, particularly tele-operated ones. Resource extraction and processing, construction, and other tasks in the vacuum and radiation of space, in the dust of the Moon, etc will be controlled by people nearby in safe and cozy habitats.

Thangavelu’s presentation discusses many topics related to such scenarios. He starts with the CoRobot concept, in which robots work closely with people to assist them in different ways. He then moves to the SARA (Surrogate Astronaut Robot Avatar) concept  in which a person wears an elaborate suit whose movements are mimicked by a robot out, say, on the surface of the Moon. Thangavelu  lays out a plan for developing and testing SARA systems starting with a facility on the ISS.

Here is a sampling of his many slides:







2 thoughts on “FISO: Co-Robots and the future of space activity – Madhu Thangavelu”

    1. Thanks for the link! Forbidden Planet was a wonderful film. Sure wish that it had led to a series of sequels, though I guess it did help to inspire Star Trek and Star Wars later. As this program discusses, Robbie itself did go on to star in many shows in the 50s and 60s such as Lost in Space. For a long time, his look became synonymous with robots.

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