Spanish experts head European space robotics technology programme

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Spanish experts head European space robotics technology programme

More than 60 space robotics experts from 30 European institutes at the meeting held in Madrid earlier this month. Photo: GMV.
More than 60 space robotics experts from 30 European institutes at the meeting held in Madrid earlier this month. Photo: GMV.

The head office of the Spanish technology firm GMV in Madrid hosted a meeting that gathered the top space robotics technology experts from Europe working in the PERASPERA project. PERASPERA is aimed at coordinating the European Commission’s Strategic Research Cluster in Space Robotics Technology.

At the meeting, more than 60 experts from 30 European institutes set the guidelines and technology requirements of the six blocks that make up the first stage of the project, which will lay the foundation for future orbit and surface exploration missions.

Four of the blocks are headed by Spanish engineers at the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) and GMV, who will develop the space robotics control and operating system (ESROCOS project); the robotic goal-oriented autonomous controller or artificial intelligence (ERGO project), and the orbital or surface robotics testing in a number of European labs (FACILITATORS project).

The experts discussed and agreed upon the features and scope of the other robotics system to be developed by companies or organisations in the cluster: data fusion, sensors, mechanical interface and facilities.

PERASPERA (Latin ‘Per aspera ad astra’, meaning ‘Through hardships to the stars’) is coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The project partners are the Italian Space Agency (ASI), CDTI, the French Space Studies Centre (CNES), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

PERASPERA, developed as part of Horizon 2020 (the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation), is considered to be the most ambitious research and innovation programme focusing on robotics in Europe. Its goal is to foster and develop space robotics technologies to be used in space missions in the future.