Above – Assemblers: A Modular and Reconfigurable Manipulation System for Autonomous In-Space Assembly, is an Early Career Initiative project led by James Neilan at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Credits: NASA's Langley Research Center
The Assemblers robots consist of stacked platforms that have actuators providing 6 degrees of freedom of movement between two bases and sensors that provide feedback on where components are located. The team is working on algorithms for software so that the robots could choose how many platforms to stack and the right tool for the task at hand. It would also calculate trajectories so routes are deconflicted and it could identify and correct any errors during the build process.
"The project goal is to increase the technology readiness level for the modular robot, autonomous in-space assembly, and develop a robotic prototype for ground testing," said James Neilan, principal investigator.