NASA tests autonomous construction robots for future use in outer space

Niall Patrick Walsh

NASA has unveiled details of a robotic system designed to construct and maintain structural components in space. The system, developed by NASA’s Automated Reconfigurable Mission Adaptive Digital Assembly Systems (ARMADAS) team, consists of inchworm-like robots that may one day assemble, repair, and reconfigure structural materials in orbit, on the lunar surface, or on other planets, before humans arrive.

A Scaling Omnidirectional Lattice Locomoting Explorer (SOLL-E) builder robot carries a small building block called a voxel – short for volumetric pixel – as it maneuvers, stepping inchworm-style, along the exterior of a mechanical metamaterial structure. Image credit: NASA/Dominic Hart

NASA’s system revolves around a set of 3D building blocks called voxels, which resemble a wire-frame soccer ball. Made of strong, lightweight composite materials, the voxels combine to create a system that, according to NASA, is comparable to current high-performance structures such as bridges, aircraf…

Fuente: PMideas (NASA tests autonomous construction robots for future use in outer space).