Zero Gravity – The Robotic Takeover of China’s Satellite Building World


China is onto a robotic revolution. Working towards furthering advances in space, China is developing robotic arms. And, these are smooth, winning them the epithet of “Zero Gravity.” Besides, they work in total sync with humans.

Functioning of Robotic Arms Explained:

These use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced sensors to perform heavy duty tasks. Together, these two components enable the arm to grip and lift. This information comes from the main contractor, state owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Here, the sensors enable the robot to coordinate well with humans. And, the time taken is a fraction of what it took before. This is particularly promising for China’s space endeavors.

The Conception of the Robotic Arm:

Ten years ago, at the Beijing Institute of Spacecraft Environment Engineering, a team struggled to build a satellite.  This team has Hu Ruiquin and colleagues as part of it. Here, it is noteworthy, building a satellite is labor intensive and using manual help to mount parts is risky. Besides, it can mess up with assembly quality by affecting components.

Thus, the researchers added sensors – both mechanical and visual – to the robotic arm. And, they improved motors further. Resultant, they gained a smooth movement while handling heavy objects. Not to mention, an AI algorithm supported the operation.

In short, the robot arm can sense or feel the surrounding and act accordingly.

Significance Decoded:

Unlike in industrial plants, tasks in building satellites are unique in the sense that repetition is not what makes the cut. So, the requirement here is to build something that is both human and automation. So, the team worked on building something that overcomes technical challenge with ease. And, this includes the intricate nature of real-world surroundings.

In large-scale applications, the use of robotic arm is not varied as it might succeed and fail, on and off. But, it is adding to the growth of construction of China’s BeiDou network.

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