October 18, 2022
Researchers have designed a new walking robot that could potentially assemble and maintain large construction projects in space.
Some tasks are necessary but dangerous, such as fixing wind turbines, washing a skyscraper window or even building a skyscraper.
Yet the field of robotics is moving towards developing technology that can reduce jobs dangerous to humans, both on Earth and in outer space.
Researchers have designed a new type of robot - the e-walker - to revolutionize large construction projects in space.
The robot has a large payload capacity, making it an ideal candidate for assembling large-scale projects in orbit.
Nair's team is currently focusing on making the robot assemble the 25-meter Large Aperture Telescope.
Before Nair's team can test the E-Walker's functionality in space, they still need to test its design at the University of Lincoln.
Nair said the team is building a scaled-down prototype with in-built facilities to perform servicing and assembly tasks on Earth.
"There's always a struggle with robots taking the place of humans," Nair said. Instead, he believes that robots like the E-walker pose a challenge to those situations.
"We can see window cleaning, for example, of high-rise skyscrapers where humans are attached to ropes, which they only support," Nair said.