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Italian 3-Limbed Robot to Assist Astronauts with Space Tasks

As reported on Engineering 360, a three-limbed robotic platform developed by researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) promises to assist astronauts in space with infrastructure tasks. The “Multi-arm Installation Robot for Readying ORUs and Reflectors (MIRROR) project,” or MARM, consists of a central body, three limbs and a docking device and is designed to assist astronauts in assembling and maintaining infrastructures while they are in space or, in the future, on other planets.

Capable of walking, moving, grasping and transporting payload modules in a microgravity environment, MARM will assist astronauts with tasks such as installing, inspecting, maintaining and repairing space infrastructures. MARM can grasp, transport and assemble modules, pick up a payload, relocate itself while carrying the payload, and can assemble it at a target location.

Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the MARM prototype will be tested in a physical simulator arrangement prior to the development of the space-qualified version. The robot was designed and manufactured by IIT’s Human and Humanoid Centered Mechatronics Lab, coordinated by Nikolaos Tsagarakis, in collaboration with Leonardo S.p.A and GMV.

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