Engineering Headlines

Robotics in space!Space research is unthinkable without robots

Let the robots decide

But controlling this is a complicated matter. Karlsruher researchers therefore want to teach space robots to make their own decisions.

Autonomous cars and fully automated production robots are still under development, but their potential is clearly visible.

Why not use this potential where the control of the machines is a lot more complex?

Robots on behalf of space research it has been just a year since thousands of people have been waiting for new news from space.

They have been with them and hoped Philae would report again. But the contact with the earth, he was demolished.

In February 2016 ESA’s high-tech country was almost declared dead, and yet the ESA waited another five months for a signal from the little guy.

There are rare moments like these, which give the people outside the control centers an insight into a fascinating world.

Namely, those in which robots are sent to distant planets to carry out research assignments.

And where their human colleagues on Earth are waiting for all the data to reach them as completely as possible.

However, the communication between All and Earth is highly unstable; it interrupts frequently, is strongly delayed, and sometimes limited to only a few seconds.

Karlsruher researchers are working on intelligent robots Instead of hoping for a few seconds of radio contact, the robots will decide in the future.

With the right training, they will be able to assess the risks involved in their mission, recognize alternative approaches, and make decisions independently.

What sounds like science fiction, Karlsruher researchers really want to work out.

The IntelliRISK project, funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, has been running at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) since the beginning of July.

In the coming three years, researchers around Arne Rönnau want to make space robots more autonomous and flexible researchers.

Lauron is made fit for his all-round use there is also a candidate: The first robot to be given freedom of decision in space is Lauron.

The running robot is designed to master rough terrain, now the researchers want to give him a portion of intelligence.

Most important raw material: data Such robots could be used if their own survival is less critical than the success of the mission, “the researchers said.

What is meant by the fact that in order to get the data, the robot should be put at risk. The data is ultimately more important than the valuable hardware.

At the beginning of the mission maybe not yet, but at the end of the lifetime already.

If the system works, Rönnau can imagine that it is also used elsewhere. “In the future, the risk awareness can also be used in industrial 4.0 applications in order to be able to work more safely with people and to avoid accidents,” says the FZI researcher.

Further applications for wise robots?

The protection of the disaster and the rescue of people from emergencies.

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