Robot is a system with a
mechanical body, using computer as its brain. Integrating the sensors and actuators
built into the mechanical body, the motions are realised with the computer software
to execute the desired task. Robots are more flexible in terms of ability to perform
new tasks or to carry out complex sequence of motion than other categories of
automated manufacturing equipment. Today there is lot of interest in this field
and a separate branch of technology 'robotics' has emerged. It is concerned with
all problems of robot design, development and applications. The technology to
substitute or subsidise the manned activities in space is called space robotics.
Various applications of space robots are the inspection of a defective satellite,
its repair, or the construction of a space station and supply goods to this station
and its retrieval etc. With the over lap of knowledge of kinematics, dynamics
and control and progress in fundamental technologies it is about to become possible
to design and develop the advanced robotics systems. And this will throw open
the doors to explore and experience the universe and bring countless changes for
the better in the ways we live.
The space robot applications
can be classified into the following four categories
1 In-orbit positioning
and assembly: For deployment of satellite and for assembly of modules to satellite/space
2 Operation: For conducting experiments in space lab.
For removal and replacement of faulty modules/packages.
4 Resupply: For supply
of equipment, materials for experimentation in space lab and for the resupply
The following examples give specific
applications under the above categories
in space labs that may include
" Metallurgical experiments which may be
" Astronomical observations.
" Biological experiments.
crew in space station assembly
in deployment and assembly out side the station.
" Assist crew inside
the space station: Routine crew functions inside the space station and maintaining
life support system.
Space servicing functions
" Replacement of faulty modules.
" Assist jammed mechanism
say a solar panel, antenna etc.
" Replace payloads by an
" Attach extra modules in space.
Grab a satellite and effect orbital transfer.
" Efficient transfer of
satellites from low earth orbit to geostationary orbit.
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