To the moon! A team of robotics researchers are developing autonomous robotics that could be in space exploration. More specifically, on Earth’s nearest neighbor.
Basically, engineers at Data61 plan to use their creations for various applications where there are inherent dangers. They are currently being used at mining sites near Pilbara, Wester Australia, but they have all what it takes to make a lunar trip.
Data61 is the innovation arm of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, better known as CSIRO. And team leader Fred Pauling is confident that the autonomous robots and machinery that he and his team is building could fit quite well into space.
“It makes sense to include robots that can build things, set things up, and maintain things. In the initial phases there would be no human beings and that robotics infrastructure would need to be managed from Earth. Taking the experience, we have in designing the user interface and communications infrastructure and the autonomous robots and machinery, that’s where we can have quite a lot of impact. Australia is well set up and regarded in all three of those areas.”
Pauling and his team have been developing autonomous field robotics that are fit to be used in challenging, unstructured environments as part of the subterranean challenge set by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Engineers at Data61 have also developed autonomous light utility vehicles for industrial sites that are fitted with navigation technology that can be used to maneuver through environments that are difficult to model.
What they are trying to do now, is gravitate towards building more general-purpose navigation and localization technologies that can support safe movement in very complex and industrial environments, both indoors or outdoors.
Or you know, space.
Check out how things are going, at the link above.