Robotic Influence in the Conceptual Design of Mechanical Systems in Space and Vice Versa: A Survey

by George F. Sanger, Lockheed EMSCO, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


A survey is presented of the methods of constructing structural elements in space by the application of robotic devices. Two fundamentally different approaches to the solution of robotic building in space or other hostile environments are discussed. In one, the structural elements are assumed to be designed by utilizing conventional aerospace techniques which, by their design features and manufacturing processes, tend to constrain the functional aspects of the robotics. In the second, the structural elements are designed from the conceptual stage with robotic features already built-in. On the basis of these considerations, it appears that the state-of-the-art criteria in the design practices of mechanical construction needs to be modified in favor of a new one more suited to the particular conditions prevailing in space.

Subject Headings: Automation and robotics | Space exploration | Structural members | Space construction | Space structures | Conceptual design | Surveying methods

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