Robotics software and engineering services company PickNik Robotics is collaborating with the team at Sierra Space to explore implementation of robotic autonomy and controllability for autonomous maintenance of space habitat environments.
The companies anticipate that the robotic autonomy solutions developed with this collaboration will significantly 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 (LIFETM) habitat product lines will extend mission durations that benefit from remote-controlled automation.
Sierra Space is creating infrastructure to support the LEO 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 MoveItTM 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.”