MATERIAL HANDLING IN SPAAAAAAACE!
By Alex Batty, MHI Marketing Communications Coordinator | @mhi_alex
So I follow NASA on social media. If you’ve been following along for a while, that’s no surprise to you. If you’re new here: welcome! I’m a giant nerd. Of course I follow NASA on social media.
But I was scrolling along and this post about the new Astrobee robots they’re sending up and it caught my attention. I kept reading words that made me think of work…
- • …tracking inventory
- • …equipped with cameras and sensors for navigating … and avoiding obstacles
- • …have a robotic arm that can be attached for handling cargo
- • …autonomously navigate and dock to a power station
- • …either fully automated mode or under remote control
… *looks around* does anyone else see… *points at screen* that’s… *flaps arms around* right?
*takes a deep breath*
You can read the full post on their page, but essentially the Astrobees are AMRs/AGVs/Sensors-AutoID/Inventory Management… in space. The Astrobees are designed to assist the crew in routine tasks like repetitive, mundane tasks like maintenance and tracking inventory. This will free up the crew’s time and allow them to focus on more value-added activities.
The Astrobees are propelled by fans that allow them to operate on any axis (no gravity in space) and are equipped with cameras and sensors to navigate and avoid obstacles, even while autonomously returning to a charging dock. They also have an attachable robotic arm if they need more dexterity (can anyone say co-bots!)
Since taking this job, I’ve begun to see that material handling is everywhere. But now material handling will also boldly go where no man has gone before.
Space. The final frontier. Even for material handling.