It all began with a “small step” for a man and a giant leap for mankind. That fixation we had to set foot on other planets has had consequences throughout history. That moment when the decision was taken to strike out on the space race called for a huge innovation and technology effort to prepare ourselves for the unknown. The upshot was a slew of research and developments, spinoffs and increasingly complex products and solutions, allowing us to pull off outstanding feats in space exploration.
Much of this technological effort, initially designed to make sure astronauts could live their space adventure safely and with some guarantee of success, has led to significant progress in our everyday lives and businesses, in areas as important as medicine, transport, energy and industrial production itself. For example, alongside research into the best way of supplying astronauts with clean water and energy for their next missions, a search is also underway for the best way of getting these same resources to the neediest on our own planet. Other examples could be satellite photography, climate monitoring, progress in solar power and a host of other uses found on earth for technology originally conceived for space.
Generating synergy between space hi-tech and industry
December 2018 in the Sahara desert, a Mars-like scenario, where GMV experts are putting a space exploration vehicle through its paces (ERGO system). The idea is to check out its ability to detect unexpected or unforeseen events and change its navigation scheme accordingly. The result? A key accomplishment in robotic technology. A robot capable of taking its own decisions using groundbreaking technology such as advanced artificial-vision algorithms for inspecting and recognizing complex movements and patterns in route planning.
These robotic advances encompass not only future space exploration and use but also spinoff effects back on earth such as farming, the automotive industry, mining or the nuclear industry.
In all likelihood the next missions to Mars or any other planet will lead to other as yet unimaginable spinoffs. Among the latest breakthroughs feature the hi-tech laser image that has already been able to detect snow on Mars; a high-resolution, high-speed camera designed to monitor the landing parachutes of the Orion spacecraft, now also being used for vehicle-crash tests; and the European navigation systems (EGNOS, Galileo) that already outperform the American GPS and could be used for air traffic management or typical applications in built-up environments like package delivering, emergency healthcare products, building inspections, critical infrastructure and aid for any autonomous system, etc.
In the robotics and autonomy field we at GMV now boast a long track record in providing technology for the space market in a wide range of scenarios. We use orbital and surface robots for refueling services, assembling structures, mining tasks, exploration, use of resources, rubble removal, etc.
Drawing on our space robotics experience, and without ever forgetting the crucial importance of design-up cybersecurity, we at GMV supply our clients’ factories with cutting-edge technology: electromagnetic engineering (electric mechanisms, industrial machines, energy generation and transformation, etc) development of mechatronics (analysis and design of automated manufacturing processes and products) and design of industrial engineering (optimization of the use of technical, informative and human resources as well as the handling and management of goods and service transformation systems). But robotics is only one example of how the technologies we use in space serve as the core of our solutions for inspection and operation in other unknown environments or in critical situations.
Author: Eric Polvorosa Pascal
Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV