Modular Perception and Autonomy for Light-weight On-Orbit Robotic Manipulators

Advanced robotic capabilities and operational autonomy are crucial enabling technologies for the advent of industrialization in space. A key advantage of using robots in space is their capability of operating continuously in harsh environments. This enables applications that exceed the reach of possible human intervention. Redwire/Made in Space Europe is developing state-of-the-art light-weight low-cost robotic arms for space, to enable a commercial revolution in-orbit, on-surface, and beyond. To realize ambitious technology architectures for sustainable utilization, commercialization, and exploration of space, advanced in-space robotic capabilities are required. Operational and algorithmic autonomy is a core challenge in that direction. Together, SpaceR and Redwire/Made In Space Europe are working on frameworks, methods and algorithms for incrementally developing autonomy with focus on advanced robot vision and perception.

Project Information

Duration: 4 years

Funding Source
SnT – Partnership Program
65 k Euro / year
Principal Investigator(s)
Prof. Dr. Miguel Olivares-Mendez; Dr. Carol Martinez-Luna (VicePI)
Kuldeep R. Barad
Redwire Space Europe/ Made In Space Europe
Latest Updates
Initial work on autonomy framework presented at International Astronautical Congress 2021; FNR grants a PhD industrial fellowship under this partnership to tackle vision-based grasping.
  • Barad, K. R., Martinez Luna, C., Dentler, J., & Olivares Mendez, M. A. (2021, October). Towards incremental autonomy framework for on-orbit vision-based grasping. In Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC-2021.