Space Robots

Will artifical intelligence improve human lives? Or will robots become sentient and take over the world?

Whether at the forefront of science and technology, or within the best science fiction and art, humans have long been fascinated with mechanisms created in our image  – or to do our bidding.

The Philae probe touchdown - Professor Sergei Gulyaev

A depiction of the Philae probe touchdown CC BY DLR German Aerospace Center

A depiction of the Philae probe touchdown. Image: CC-BY 3.0 DLR German Aerospace Center.

After a 64 billion kilometer journey a robotic space probe has landed on a comet for the first time in history.

The Philae probe touched down on comet 67P last night to the jubilation of mission controllers at the European Space Agency, who launched the probe on board the Rosetta spacecraft more than ten years ago. But the excitement has been tempered by the news harpoons meant to secure Philae to the comet have failed to fire. There have been fears the Philae may have bounced off the surface.

Professor Sergei Gulyaev explains.

Robotic spacecraft makes history by landing on a comet

A D model of the Rosetta Spacecraft PD

A 3D model of the Rosetts Spacecraft.

The Rosetta space craft has been travelling for ten years to reach its rendezvous with comet 67P.

Overnight, a small lander was released to land on the comet.

We speak to Dr Matt Taylor - project scientist on the Rosetta Mission - about the historic project and how the landing is progressing.

Humanoid Robot

The first humanoid robot in space has finally awakened. Its called Robonaut and NASA has turned it on for the first time since it was delivered to the International Space Station in February.

Rob by Toyota CC BY SA Chris

Robô by Toyota CC BY-SA 3.0 Chris 73.

Wind up tin robot toys CC BY SA D J Shin

Wind-up tin robot toys CC BY SA 3.0 D J Shin.

Shadow Dexterous Robot Hand holding a lightbulb CC BY SA Richard Greenhill and Hugo Elias

Shadow Dexterous Robot Hand holding a lightbulb CC BY-SA 3.0 Richard Greenhill and Hugo Elias.

Medical Robot Laparoscopic robotic surgery machine CC BY SA Nimur

Medical Robot Laparoscopic robotic surgery machine CC BY-SA 3.0 Nimur.

Military Robot Bio inspired Big Dog quadruped robot is being developed as a mule that can traverse difficult terrain PD BY Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA

Military Robot: bio-inspired Big Dog quadruped robot PD BY DARPA.