From Prostate to Satellites

Our great old friends at Hopkins started to work with NASA around 2 years ago to transfer their telerobotic technology (mostly based on their da Vinci experience) to something useful in on-orbit servicing. 
NASA has long planned on using teleoperated robots for refueling (originally for Hubble, but that got cancelled in 2004) and Lockheed did some experiments in cooperation the Goddard space center. They are working together with CSA, since they have the Dextre technology
Now the Hopkins group is exploring ways to tackle the delay in communication, develop potent human-machine interfaces and to employ techniques already proven useful in surgery, such as constrained manipulation with Virtual Fixtures. (For the record, it's the same principle I recommended back in 2008.)
You can learn more about it by listening to Peter Kazanzides' talk at FISO telecon last week, or reading the many article published on their paroject [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
Robotic surgery has been featured before within the context of space medicine at FISO. You can learn about U. Nebraska's robots or about the Fesibility of extreme long distance telesurgery.

Update: I've just found the newly releazed NASA report on the NEEMO10 mission (2006) that included the M7 and the UNebraska robots as well. 
Update: Video coverage of the telerobotic NLI cutting

For latest updates, join us at the NASA Exploration Telerobotics Symposium (May 2-3), or at the upcoming GLEX conference (May 22-24) in DC. 


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