ROS in Space: A Case Study on Robonaut 2

  • Julia BadgerEmail author
  • Dustin Gooding
  • Kody Ensley
  • Kimberly Hambuchen
  • Allison Thackston
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 625)


Robonaut 2 (R2), an upper-body dexterous humanoid robot, was developed in a partnership between NASA and General Motors. R2 has been undergoing experimental trials on board the International Space Station (ISS) for more than two years, and has recently been integrated with a mobility platform. Once post-integration checkouts are complete, it will be able to maneuver around the ISS in order to complete tasks and continue to demonstrate new technical competencies for future extravehicular activities. The increase in capabilities requires a new software architecture, control and safety system. These have all been implemented in the ROS framework. This case study chapter will discuss R2’s new software capabilities, user interfaces, and remote deployment and operation, and will include the safety certification path taken to be able to use ROS in space.


Space robotics Safety architecture Human-robot interaction 



The authors would like to acknowledge Joshua Mehling, Vienny Nguyen, Philip Strawser, and the many former members of the software team for their contributions to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Badger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dustin Gooding
    • 1
  • Kody Ensley
    • 1
  • Kimberly Hambuchen
    • 1
  • Allison Thackston
    • 2
  1. 1.NASA- Johnson Space CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Oceaneering Space SystemsHoustonUSA

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