Altius Space Machines To Demo Its Prospector Robot

Image Credit: Altius Space Systems

Image Credit: Altius Space Systems

May 13, 2015 – As part of the AIAA Rocky Mountain Section Speaker Program, Altius Space Machines will demonstrate the Prospector Robot that they’ve developed for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) Option B. The demonstration will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, May 21.

Altius has designed and developed a robotic arm capture system that is intended to grab a boulder from the surface of an asteroid. It is currently under consideration by NASA for the Asteroid Redirect Mission.

Although sized for a terrestrial proof-of-concept demonstration, the Prospector robot is still large in size – each arm measures over 1 meter in length – and collectively lifts a simulated asteroid boulder several feet above the ground.

Of particular note, are the Empire Robotics grippers found along the length of each arm. These grippers enable a “custom fit” to the asteroid and are operated via a pneumatic system. Altius and Empire also developed and demonstrated a version of the grippers that works in a vacuum.

At this event, Altius will demonstrate the Prospector robot’s capabilities, including asteroid lift off and the simulated asteroid escape.

Altius is a Broomfield-based hardware space robotics company specializing in three main business units: Orbital Logistics, Space Robotics, and Plasma Decelerators. Together, these business units support complex in-space operations for a wide range of customers.

Altius has proposed and led multiple NASA R&D contracts including proposed hypersonic plasma decelerators, Mars sample return mechanisms, and satellite servicing robotics. Commercially, Altius is researching novel small satellite deployment platforms to enhance present capability and reduce overall cost.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration closes May 19. Register online.