There’s a lot of work to do on the International Space Station, and only a handful of humans to do it! That’s why researchers from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Bremen are working on a bot to perform menial labor in space, and assist with tasks that normally require two people.
The goal is to have the two-armed robot, called Besman, be able learn by watching and imitating humans. That way, the robot can pick up new skills as the need arises using a reinforcement learning technique. The bot will learn “how to deal with hazardous or unforeseen situations which the robot could not solve autonomously by simply using reflexive actions,” according to the BesMan Webpage.
The project is still in progress. But the team has already released videos of BesMan autonomously performing a mission that consisted of some of the basic operations that would be necessary on the International Space Station, such as rotating a handwheel and activating specific switches.