27th February 2018, by Dr. Neal Y. Lii

SUPVIS Justin ISS session #2 set for March 2, 2018

The METERON SUPVIS Justin team has been hard at work, studying the results of the first ISS crew session and developing new robotic capabilities for the 2nd ISS crew session. This session is now set for Friday, March 2, 2018.

Astronauts Scott Tingle (NASA) and Norishige Kanai (JAXA) arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on December 19 last year. They have been trained at the European Astronaut Training Centre on how to teleoperate Rollin’ Justin as a robotic coworker in the simulation Martian solar farm experimental environment, known as SOLEX, located at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

The SUPVIS Justin ground team is currently busy going through all the final checks and preparations to get ready for the experiment on Friday. The astronauts will be expected to go through a standard protocol of robot navigation and solar panel inspection, as they were trained on Earth. This will be followed by protocol(s) of more complex tasks, including device cleaning and component adjustments. These tasks have been designed specifically to reflect the real operations on a planetary colony.

The astronauts’ ability to command the robot to carry out these tasks remotely without full prior knowledge, both of the new tasks, as well as the increased robot capabilities, will be closely examined. The findings should help us move closer to deploying robotic coworkers to assist astronauts in future planetary missions.