The ability to rove the surface of Mars has revolutionized NASA missions.

With more advanced mobility, cliff faces, cave ceilings, and the surfaces of asteroids and comets could be explored.

This talk will present the work of the Robotic Rapid Prototyping Lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This includes grippers for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which plans to extract a 15-ton boulder from the surface of an asteroid, and alter the asteroid’s orbit, a method that could prevent future impacts to the Earth.

The talk, given by Aaron Parness, will also present gecko-inspired adhesives currently being tested on the International Space Station, miniaturized robots that can drive across surfaces in zero gravity, and rock climbing robots traversing giant lava tubes in New Mexico.

Not only are the projects discussed, but so too are new tools and techniques (3-D printers, computer-aided-design software, miniature electronics) that allow NASA to build and iterate robots more quickly than ever before.

Filed under: Space Missions