Rationale For Robotic Characteristics

A. Small, low-mass: The robots and their tools are made as small as is consistent with functionality because: B. Spaceworthy: Robots and their tools can be made to function for years exposed to harsh radiation, in heat and cold, in free fall, and in a vacuum.

C. Teleoperated: The alternative to teleoperation is to duplicate the human mind, which is likely to be an expensive and long-term effort. Moreover, teleoperation allows humans to participate intimately yet safely in taming the space environment. Robot eyes become (for those on Earth) windows looking out into another environment. Even in locations more distant than geocentric orbits, and in spite of the timelag problem , some form of teleoperation may be necessary.

D. Humanoid: When functionality allows, robots should be humanoid in design and appearance because:

Visit The Cog Shop at MIT to learn about a project focused on development of humanoid robots. The University of Maryland's Ranger teleoperated robot is a humaniform robot adapted to a zero-G environment. To see some counter arguments to the use of humanoid robots, click here.

If you see any large holes in the above arguments, we would appreciate hearing about them.

This page updatd on 12/4/95 by David Gore