ASP projects

CoSpaR: Components for Space Robotics

In the next decades, planetary exploration will play an important role in directing global technological development and at the same time will provide an extensive application and testing field for many innovative technologies. In support of exploration missions, new space systems must be developed requiring research on many new technologies involving robotics, automation, bio-engineering, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology skills. The extravehicular pressurized suit imposes severe limitations on the astronaut’s mobility, impacting particularly on dexterity, force and endurance of the hands.
One of the main problems limiting the overall duration of a spacewalk is the astronaut’s hand fatigue. A device able to mitigate hand fatigue during EVA would be a significant improvement for astronauts, allowing them to accomplish their tasks more efficiently, more comfortably and for a longer time. The project is a preliminary approach towards a possible technological solution able to reduce the fatigue of the astronaut’s hand, while avoiding hindering its natural movements. The challenge was the implementation of one or more prototypes of a lightweight hand exoskeleton to be embedded in the astronaut’s glove, in order to overcome the stiffness of the pressurized suit. Both the high complexity of the human hand, in terms of degrees of freedom and working space, and the extreme environment in which the exoskeleton must work create a series of different constraints increasing the complexity of the project.

Principal Academic Tutor
Candido Fabrizio Pirri
Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino

External Tutors
Silvia Appendino
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Paolo Ariano
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Giancarlo Canavese
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Eleonora Canesi
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Mariangela Lombardi
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Francesco Pescarmona
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Academic Tutors
Paolo Fino
Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino

External institution
IIT – Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Team members
Alain Caltieri, Computer Engineering
Matteo De Nitto, Aerospace Engineering
Daniel Grivon, Mechatronic Engineering
Cesare Pini [Team controller], Mechanical Engineering
Riccardo Tarelli, Electronic Engineering

Eleonora Marina Botta, Space Engineering
Pierluigi Freni [Team controller], Materials Engineering
Ippazio Martella [Project Communication Coordinator], Computer Engineering
Federico Radici, Biomedical Engineering
Luca Randazzo, Mechatronics Engineering
Roberto Rossi, Mechanical Engineering

Download the poster of the Project