RoboSpiders To Build Satellites In Space

  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering as well as a new Robotics for Military and Civil Applications course that would be offered on April 27-30, 2015 in Columbia, MD and June 8-11, 2015 in Columbia, MD. Robotics is the way of the future and some new […]
  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering as well as a new Robotics for Military and Civil Applications course that would be offered on April 27-30, 2015 in Columbia, MD and June 8-11, 2015 in Columbia, MD. Robotics is the way of the future and some new technology pioneers see it as an essential part of human space exploration.  Currently, the delivery, construction and repair of satellites as well as other space technologies is very costly since the construction of the whole object has to be done on Earth.  There is also an issue of multiple dead satellites currently in orbit.  But, what if there was a way to repair them in space? One company wants to use the ingenuity of spiders to change the way we build for space.  The idea, which the company, Tethers Unlimited, dubs “SpiderFab,” is to build a multi-limbed robot that could be deployed in space to construct parts of structures, in much the same way earthly spiders construct their webs.  The robot would be able to lay out and fuse together carbon fiber rods from a spinneret, crawling along its web of trusses until it creates the final object. Instead of sending complete structures into space, rockets of the future could fill their payloads with raw materials, which could then be built out by the SpiderFab up in orbit. This would mean more materials could be taken up by one ship. Right now, Tethers Unlimited’s CEO Bob Hoyt (who co-founded the company in the early 1990s to build robotics and communications parts for space and undersea missions) told Space.com he sees space agencies using the SpiderFab to build things like solar panels arrays, radio antennas, and telescope parts, but envisions robots being used in space “to construct the infrastructure in space needed to support humanity’s expansion throughout the solar system.” Tether Unlimited, which has received funding from NASA for this and a range of other projects, is working on having a prototype of its robo-spinneret ready by the summer, with the intention of launching a functioning spider into space in a few years. If the development goes smoothly, one day an army of spiders could be used to create the space stations of tomorrow.  
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