New Partnership Develops Robotic Solutions for Space Habitat Maintenance 

PickNik Robotics and Sierra Space aim to develop robotic autonomy solutions that improve the ability to support low Earth orbit, lunar and deep space missions

 By Caroline Rees / 01 Apr 2022
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PickNik Robotics is collaborating with Sierra Space to explore the implementation of robotic autonomy and controllability for autonomous maintenance of space habitat environments.

The collaboration aims to develop robotic autonomy solutions that will improve the ability to support Low Earth Orbit (LEO), lunar and deep space missions. PickNik Robotics’ expertise in robotic manipulation paired with Sierra Space’s Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat product lines will help extend mission durations that benefit from remote-controlled automation.

Sierra Space is creating the foundational infrastructure to support this new ecosystem, led by LIFE and its Dream Chaser spaceplane. LIFE is a modular, three-story commercial habitation and science platform with applications in LEO, Mars transport and lunar/Mars surface habitation. It will provide opportunities for multiple businesses, including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and other sectors, to optimize the zero gravity benefits of space.

PickNik Robotics will provide technical expertise to Sierra Space for further developing supervised autonomy solutions for robotic technologies on space stations, including requirements gathering, workspace analysis and hardware selection. The company will also support Sierra Space in developing concept simulations of robotic assets for use on space stations. In addition, PickNik will provide software engineering to implement Space ROS and MoveIt Studio to support Sierra Space’s flight-hardened software needs.

“At Sierra Space, our mission is to build a platform in space to benefit life here on Earth. To fulfill that mission, we wanted to collaborate with a leading robotics company that has deep expertise working in complex environments. PickNik Robotics fits those criteria,” said Steve Lindsey, Chief Strategy Officer at Sierra Space and former astronaut who has flown five missions for NASA. “We anticipate that PickNik will make a strong and positive impact on our ambitious goals in space.”

“Sierra Space’s vision and progress toward creating a commercial platform for space manufacturing and other applications is really exciting, and we look forward to contributing to those meaningfully with our robotics expertise and software,” said Dr. Dave Coleman, CEO of PickNik Robotics. “We are honored to be working with them to support their robotics development.”

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact