Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Space Robotics
Academic Year
Semester 1
GCSE level maths
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   WRITTEN EXAM  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Explain the detailed characteristics of space and planetary robot systems.

Analyse potential space and planetary robot applications and design appropriate robotic solutions.

Demonstrate an advanced understandign of the principles of operation of space and planetary robots.

Brief description

This module provides an introduction to the basic design and operation of robotic systems for space and planetry applications.


1) Introduction to space robotics:
Syllabus, reading list, lecture notes etc. and Space Robotics research at Aberystwyth.

2) Past and future missions:
Including satellites, orbiters, deep space probes, landers, rovers and aerobots.

3) Design Issues for robotic Space Missions:
Including launch & landing systems; science goals vs. engineering constraints (power, mass, volume); sensor & actuator choices; etc.

4) Kinematics and Calibration:
Concepts of forward and inverse kinematics, manipulator and sensor calibration.

5) Planetary rover localisation, navigation and obstacle avoidance:
Including examples from NASA's Sojourner and MER rovers, and the ESA ExoMars rover.

6) Aerobots for planet and moon exploration:
Including aerostatics, aerobot design, localisation and navigation.

7) Advanced simulators for planetary robot surface operations:
Including examples from Beagle 2 shadow prediction, modelling Martian terrain and meteorology and ExoMars Mars Terrain Simulator facility.

8) Autonomous space and planetary robot architectures and methods:
Including hardware and software architectures, with examples from both historical and contemporary missions.


This module is at CQFW Level 6