Remote control from space

On 7 September, astronaut Andreas Mogensen succeeded in controlling a rover on the ground at ESA in Noordwijk from the International Space Station. He manoeuvred it between a series of obstacles before placing a peg in a narrow hole with a tolerance of 150 micrometres – one sixth of a human hair. The project, named Interact, was run by Dr André Schiele, a researcher in biomechanical engineering at the Faculty of 3mE and founder of the ESA Telerobotics and Haptics Laboratory. The challenge lies in controlling the robot through touch (haptic control), despite a distance of 144,000 kilometres and a delay of almost twelve seconds.

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