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There and Back Again: The Migration of Robotic Arm Technology from Mars to Earth
An image of mars Science Laboratory's robotic arm on Mars.

The von Kármán Lecture Series: 14 -15 March 2013

While robotic arm applications on Earth have existed for decades, it's only in the last few years that manipulation jobs have moved far outside the factory walls. We now look for arms capable of tasks such as ordinance disposal, underwater operations and disaster response. It is in this last area that JPL will immediately apply all its lessons learned from the Mars surface missions to a terrestrial application, DARPA's Robotic Challenge (

This talk provides an overview of the challenges of the design and use of Curiosity's robotic arm and is followed by a description of those same challenges faced by JPL's RoboSimian robot, which will compete in the Robotic Challenge. What makes those robotic systems kissing cousins, as well as worlds apart?

Speaker: Brett Kennedy, Supervisor, Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators Group Cognizant Engineer, MSL Robotic Arm


Last Updated: 17 April 2013

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Last Updated: 17 Apr 2013