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New robot control system brings Russia closer to building Moon base — expert

October 02, 2014, 17:48 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
The project named Kontur-2 is part of a larger program of preparations for building a lunar base for geological research and construction of a station on the Moon
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Savostyanov

ST. PETERSBURG, October 2. /TASS/. Russian scientists are creating a new robot control system that will eventually allow the country to build a lunar base, Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Head Oleg Ostepaneko said on Thursday.

He said Roscosmos and St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University would carry out a joint experiment in outer space in January 2015 using a special joystick aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to control ground-based robots.

There will be three robots on arth: two in Russia and one outside Munich in Germany as this is a joint project with the German Aerospace Center. The robot in Germany will go along a preset line without touching the edges of the metal plate it will move around.

“This will be a motor coordination exercise for cosmonauts,” Vladimir Zaborovsky, chair of the university’s department of telematics, told TASS.

The Russian robots will act as a single system - a hyper manipulator (a robot resembling a large snake or worm that can get through an aperture) fixed on a movable platform.

“It will be up to the cosmonaut to decide how this system will move,” Zaborovsky said.

He said the project named Kontur-2 is part of a larger program of preparations for building a lunar base for geological research and construction of a station on the Moon where most of the work is to be done by robots.

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