Research Topic

Robotic In-Situ Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is devoted to papers focused on robotic manufacturing, assembly, and servicing utilizing in-situ resources, especially for space robotic applications. The ability to utilize in-situ resources will enable the construction and maintenance of large-scale assets at significantly reduced cost. Ground-based examples include large infrastructure (buildings, particle accelerators, solar farms) or undersea structures (oil platforms, laboratories, habitats). Achieving in-situ fabrication using cooperative, mobile robots is also a major goal of several terrestrial and orbital construction projects including large in-space assemblies (space telescopes, commercial platforms, transportation hubs). The Research Topic will include extended manuscripts based on podium/poster presentations from the 'Robotic In-Situ Servicing, Assembly and Maintenance' workshop at the 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2020) held in Las Vegas, Nevada USA on October 25, 2020.

Major challenges include mobility, precise manipulation, localization/mapping, and adaptability to uncertainties in the environment. The capacity to process raw materials in remote environments is key for on-orbit, lunar, and planetary applications. Large ground-based facilities built in inaccessible locales could also benefit greatly from in-situ robotics for inspection and servicing, and likely would necessitate a multi-robot scalable solution.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a forum to researchers across a variety of disciplines to identify common themes, formulate problems, and share promising technologies for autonomous large-scale construction, servicing, and assembly robots. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Robotic In-Space Manufacturing and Material Manipulation
• In-process inspection, repair, verification and validation
• In-situ sensing and relative navigation
• Dexterous robot manipulation and mobile platforms
• Robotic tools, tool drive system and mating mechanisms
• Modular/Cooperative servicing interfaces and systems
• Modular Mechanical, Power, and Data Interfaces
• Robotic Assembly Joining Technology
• Terrestrial and Lunar Surface Manipulator System
• Actuation for Long Reach In-Space Manipulation
• Multi-robot/multi-agent cooperative systems or operations


Image Credit: University of Lincoln


Keywords: Robotic Assembly, Multi-Agent Cooperative Systems, Robotic Inspection, Robotic Repair, In-Space Manufacturing, In-Situ Sensing, In-Situ Navigation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This Research Topic is devoted to papers focused on robotic manufacturing, assembly, and servicing utilizing in-situ resources, especially for space robotic applications. The ability to utilize in-situ resources will enable the construction and maintenance of large-scale assets at significantly reduced cost. Ground-based examples include large infrastructure (buildings, particle accelerators, solar farms) or undersea structures (oil platforms, laboratories, habitats). Achieving in-situ fabrication using cooperative, mobile robots is also a major goal of several terrestrial and orbital construction projects including large in-space assemblies (space telescopes, commercial platforms, transportation hubs). The Research Topic will include extended manuscripts based on podium/poster presentations from the 'Robotic In-Situ Servicing, Assembly and Maintenance' workshop at the 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2020) held in Las Vegas, Nevada USA on October 25, 2020.

Major challenges include mobility, precise manipulation, localization/mapping, and adaptability to uncertainties in the environment. The capacity to process raw materials in remote environments is key for on-orbit, lunar, and planetary applications. Large ground-based facilities built in inaccessible locales could also benefit greatly from in-situ robotics for inspection and servicing, and likely would necessitate a multi-robot scalable solution.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a forum to researchers across a variety of disciplines to identify common themes, formulate problems, and share promising technologies for autonomous large-scale construction, servicing, and assembly robots. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Robotic In-Space Manufacturing and Material Manipulation
• In-process inspection, repair, verification and validation
• In-situ sensing and relative navigation
• Dexterous robot manipulation and mobile platforms
• Robotic tools, tool drive system and mating mechanisms
• Modular/Cooperative servicing interfaces and systems
• Modular Mechanical, Power, and Data Interfaces
• Robotic Assembly Joining Technology
• Terrestrial and Lunar Surface Manipulator System
• Actuation for Long Reach In-Space Manipulation
• Multi-robot/multi-agent cooperative systems or operations


Image Credit: University of Lincoln


Keywords: Robotic Assembly, Multi-Agent Cooperative Systems, Robotic Inspection, Robotic Repair, In-Space Manufacturing, In-Situ Sensing, In-Situ Navigation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2020 Abstract
15 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2020 Abstract
15 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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