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Meet ISAAC, Integrating Robots with Space Stations of the Future

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Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques prepping the free-flying Astrobee robotic assistant for a mobility test.

ISAAC aims to support technologies on spacecraft and space stations for remote and autonomous care-taking when they are unoccupied or when communication with ground controllers is limited or unavailable.

Engineers at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have developed software to facilitate autonomous functions of a spacecraft's operating and robotic systems.

ISAAC (Integrated System for Autonomous and Adaptive Caretaking) software recently completed its first testing phase aboard the International Space Station, using a single, free-flying robot to investigate a simulated fault. The second phase involves managing multiple robots transporting cargo, while the third and final phase will test the system against more complex fault scenarios.

"Our long-term vision is that it can transform a spacecraft into an autonomous robotic system itself," said NASA's Trey Smith.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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