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Communications of the ACM


Robots Aim to Boost Astronaut Efficiency

ESA's SpaceBok robot

ESA's SpaceBok robot is designed to walk, hop, and run in low-gravity environments.

Credit: ESA

From free-flying droids to humanoids, from crawlers to inflatable torsos, space robots of myriad types are now being considered for missions in low Earth orbit, on interplanetary spacecraft, and on other worlds.

It might sound like a prop list from a Star Wars movie, but space agencies and their contractors are developing a panoply of robotic assistants with a serious aim in mind: to boost the productivity and safety of astronauts.


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