Astronauts in Space to Explore Earth with Robots

When human space travelers arrive above an alien world, it’s likely that they would send down the robotic explorers first. Now astronauts aboard the International Space Station may use joysticks or even exoskeleton arms to remotely control rovers and androids on Earth as practice for future missions to the moon, Mars and asteroids.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has created a four-wheel rover with two arms, called Eurobot, as a pioneer test subject for remote control by humans in space. The space station crew will try to operate Eurobot from more than 200 miles above the Earth with a computer that has special screens and a joystick . “The Space Station is the perfect orbital platform to simulate very realistic scenarios for human exploration,” said Kim Nergaard, ESA’s coordinator for the Multi-purpose End-To-End Robotic Operations Network (Meteron) program.

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