Space Robotics

Robotic Spider Web Crawlers in Space!

Posted 21 Dec 2005 at 16:38 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

Space.com has an article about a space mission to test small space spider robots that can crawl along mesh webbing. A mother ship at the center will deploy three small satellites which will stretch out a triangular 20 by 40 meter mesh net. The mother ship's cameras will confirm that the net is unfurled and not tangled. Next, two tiny palm-sized spider robots named RobySpace Junior 1 and 2 will leave the mother ship at the center and attempt to crawl along the mesh net out to one of the satellites. These Furoshiki (Japanese word for wrapping cloth) satellites and robots will be tested during a joint mission January 18th, 2006 with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, the European Space Agency and the Vienna University of Technology. The experiment will be launched on a rocket that will have a sub-orbital trajectory so the test will only have about ten minutes of microgravity to run before it descends and vaporizes the spider robots in our Earth's atmosphere. Perhaps in the future we may have space spider robots crawling around an outerspace web and building all sorts of interplanetary structures!

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