An Interdisciplinary Approach to Human-Robotic Cooperation in Mars Exploration
10 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2012
Date Written: October 6, 2011
The recent past has seen robots develop into autonomous artificial agents capable of executing complex tasks. In the near future, robots will likely develop the ability to adapt and learn from their surroundings. Robots have self-reliance, accuracy, and can operate in hostile environments - all attributes well suited for space exploration. Robots also reduce mission costs, increase design flexibility, and maximize data production. On the other hand, when faced with new scenarios and unexpected events, robots pale in comparison with their intuitive and creative human counterparts. The future of space exploration will have to intelligently balance the flexibility and ingenuity of humans with robust and sophisticated robotic systems. The Cooperation of Humans And Robots for Mars (CHARM) team at the 2011 Space Studies Program of the International Space University integrated international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary perspectives to investigate Mars exploration objectives, robotic capabilities, and the interaction between humans and robots. Based on the goals of various space agencies, this paper selects an exploration objective for the time frame between 2015 and 2035, and drafts different scenarios to accomplish this objective. Each scenario uses different degrees of human-robot interaction. A theoretical model is then developed based on discrete requirements to help create an effective combination of human and robots to achieve the mission objective. This model is used to select the most appropriate of the proposed mission scenarios. The CHARM model uses an interdisciplinary approach, including technical, societal, political, financial, and scientific perspectives. The CHARM team believes that this decision-making model can be used to select missions more efficiently and rationally, thus enabling greater feasibility to space missions.
Keywords: Model, International Space University, Space Studies Program, Human Robot Cooperation, Mars
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