Automation and Robotics for the Space Exploration Initiative

Results from Project Outreach

by Dan Gonzales, David R. Criswell, Ewald Heer

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This Note describes the results of RAND's management of the direct solicitation component of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) Outreach Program, a program designed to solicit creative ideas from academia, research institutions, private enterprise, and the general public to help in defining promising technical areas and program paths for more detailed study. Eight panels were created to screen and analyze the submissions: space and surface power; space transportation systems, launch systems, and propulsion; automation and robotics; human support; structures, materials, mechanical systems, and in-situ processing; communications; information systems; and architectures and missions. Among the authors' recommendations are the following: (1) SEI robots, work environments, and systems should be systemically integrated; (2) structured-task robots should be developed for SEI; (3) NASA should adapt and develop advanced teleoperator robot control interfaces that enable telepresence; and (4) tradeoff studies must be done to select optimum mobility and navigational subsystems for SEI surface exploration robots.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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