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Oct 30, 2020

Of all the different areas that robotics is being applied to, space robotics might be the one that most captures people’s imaginations and inspires us to make what seems impossible, possible. From robots in orbit to planetary rovers and wearable tech, in this episode we’ll explore the latest developments in space robotics and technology.

In this episode, I’m joined by Xander Hall (Airbus Defence and Space), Dr Arthur Bouton (Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey) and Steph Pau (Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London) to talk about the challenges and opportunities for robots in space - present and future.

Xander Hall is a Mission Systems Engineer at Airbus in Stevenage and specialises in robotics, in-orbit servicing and UK national missions. His time at Airbus has seen him work on projects to build >100m reflectors in orbit, perform Mars rover field trials in the Atacama desert in Chile, and develop the RemoveDEBRIS space harpoon (amongst many others). He is passionate about developing the next generation of spacecraft/services and is an advocate for keeping the space environment sustainable.

Dr Arthur Bouton did his PhD in Paris on the topic of compliant wheel-legged locomotion systems. Two years ago, he joined the Future of AI and Robotics in Space (FAIR-SPACE) project at the University of Surrey to work on planetary rover mobility. Robotics is for him the best way to engage with all the engineering topics he is passionate about, from the mechanical design to machine learning and control.

Stephanie Pau is a research associate at the Hamlyn Centre at Imperial College London, where she works with medical robotics researchers to create the links with space and industry. She has masters degrees in Electronics and Electronics Engineering from Imperial College and in Healthcare and Design from the Royal College of Art. She worked for 6 years in the space industry as a solutions architect and is now writing a book chapter on the Future of Human Robot Interaction in Space. She recently ran a webinar series, “From PPE to Spacesuits”.