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Robotics

Here you'll find detailed descriptions of the activities of the Mobility and Robotic Systems Section, as well as related robotics efforts around the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We are approximately more than 10 engineers working on all aspects of robotics for space exploration and related terrestrial applications. We write autonomy software that drives rovers, and operations software to monitor and control them. We do the same for their instrument-placement and sampling arms, and are developing new systems with many limbs for walking and climbing. To achieve mobility off the surface, we are creating prototypes of airships to fly through the atmospheres, and drills and probes to go underground.

To enable all of these robots to interact with their surroundings, we make them see with cameras and measure their environments with other sensors. Based on these measurements, the robots control themselves with algorithms also developed by our research teams. We capture the control-and-sensor-processing software in unifying frameworks, which enable reuse and transfer among our projects. In the course of developing this technology, we build real end-to-end systems as well as high-fidelity simulations of how the robots will work on worlds we are planning to visit.

The Mobility and Robotic Systems Section is infusing its technology into a number of applications for space mission and related terrestrial endeavors.

Application Area

  • Driving
  • Flying
  • Landing
  • Small Body Orbiting
  • Subsurface Access
  • Instrument Placement
  • Sampling
  • Construction
  • Simulation
  • User Interfaces
  • Military & Terrestrial



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