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Fly Me To The Moon - A Case Study

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When NASA Langley Research Center hired Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation to develop a totally mechanical tool changer, Honeybee was ready.

The tool changer was for the end of what Langley’s Lunar Surface Manipulation System (LSMS) team describes as a robot that could unload landers. Then, after the landers were unloaded, it could, in addition to doing base assembly, mate with tools to take science experiments. This robot could be likened to a crane but with more dexterity.

The crane was designed to work remotely so that it could be used on an unmanned mission without human interaction. It’s completely autonomous. That’s one of the driving factors. And the tool changer does have other applications if they decide they want to use it on Mars or even in outer space for a robotic arm and end effectors.

Since Honeybee has been developing harsh-environment, mission-critical end-effectors for over 25 years and has worked on the equipment for other space missions, they were specially suited to tackle this challenge.

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