As an extension of humans in space, intelligent robots will increasingly define the future of spaceflight. DLR is a world leader with its research in this field.
DLR's Space Justin is a service robot that is able to tackle tasks both out in space and here on Earth. With two five-fingered hands, Space Justin can act in a similar way to a human. It follows the motion of the operator's arms, fingers and head through a haptic human-system interface (also referred to as a Man-Machine-Interface or MMI). The reverse also occurs – the operator senses force and motion information sent back by the robot.
Using a 'pair of eyes', Space Justin can create a three-dimensional image of its surroundings and transmit this to the operator. Because of this multi-modal coupling, the person controlling the robot feels himself or herself 'present' in the remote environment. With this telepresence technology, Space Justin is able to perform complex repair tasks in orbit or assist astronauts.