A flying robot called an Astrobee is being tested out on the International Space Station. (Source: NASA)

Robots Deployed on Space Station for Maintenance, Troubleshooting

It won’t exactly be like Rosie The Robot, which cleaned up after the Jetsons, but it will help keep the current and the planned space stations clean. Astrobee is the robot assistant that will also do repairs on space stations as well. Evan Ackerman of spectrum.ieee.org has a story about the Astrobee.

In the future, NASA wants to put a permanent space station called Gateway in orbit around the moon. Unlike the International Space Station with its permanent astronaut residents, Gateway will mostly be a transit point, a staging area for astronauts heading to the lunar surface or, eventually, to Mars. NASA expects that Gateway will spend a lot of time empty (it may only be crewed for a total of six weeks a year), but it’ll need to be ready to welcome astronauts whenever they arrive, offering a safe, warm, and air-filled space. The robots are going to keep an otherwise empty space station ship-shape Robots

The goal of NASA’s Integrated System for Autonomous and Adaptive Caretaking project, or ISAAC, is for the autonomous systems already on board space stations.

Astrobee can find holes that are punched into the space station by micro-particles and actually patch them.

The ISAAC team is now engaged in its second phase of testing aboard the station, which focuses on managing multiple robots as they transport cargo between an uncrewed space station and an uncrewed visiting cargo spacecraft. In addition to testing ISAAC with these new variables, the team is adding an improved operator interface to simplify managing the vehicle-robot systems. In the third and final phase of testing, the team will throw even more difficult fault scenarios at ISAAC, such as mock cabin air leaks or fires, and develop robust techniques to respond to anomalies that occur when responding to these simulated crises.

The article is filled with the information you might want regarding space robots that keep the house clean.

read more at spectrum.ieee.org