"NASA Robotics Technology Development" by Dr Kimberly Hambuchen

"NASA Robotics Technology Development" by Dr Kimberly Hambuchen

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Room G.03

Bayes Centre

47 Potterrow



United Kingdom

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Distinguished Lecture

"NASA Robotics Technology Development"

By Dr Kimberly Hambuchen, NASA Robotics Principal Technologist


Dr Kimberly Hambuchen will discuss previous, current and future technology developments in robots at NASA, from rovers on Mars, to humanoid spacecraft caretakers, to icy moon explorers. NASA has spent decades on the development and deployment of robotic space explorers, with an eye towards robots that can enable and enhance human deep space exploration. She will present efforts that span multiple NASA centers, and multiple archetypes of robotic systems that can assist in exploration at all stages of space missions. She will also discuss NASA’s future deep space efforts, focused on cis-lunar activities, and how robots can enable new mission paradigms, including autonomous space habitats and human-robot teaming.


Dr Kimberly Hambuchen has spent the last 20 years developing software and applications to advance the intelligence, usefulness and operational intuitiveness of robots. Upon completing her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in 2004, she began a National Science Council post-doctorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during which she developed novel interfaces for remotely operating robots over intermediate time delays. In 2006, she joined the Robotics Systems Technology branch in the Software, Robotics and Simulation division of engineering at NASA Johnson Space Center.

Dr Hambuchen has participated in multi-center activities that developed software allowing for the deployment of tools and interfaces across multiple centers and their robots, providing shared robotic interfaces across NASA. She participated in the development of NASA’s bipedal humanoid, Valkyrie (R5), to which she extended her work developing human interfaces for robot operations. She was previously the manager for the Human Robotic Systems project and the challenge administrator for Centennial Challenges’ Space Robotics Challenge, while also managing university-hosted robots provided for that challenge. Additionally, she managed a task to increase robotic autonomy for the Autonomous Systems and Operations project.

Dr Hambuchen is currently a member of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group’s (ISECG) Telerobotics Gap Assessment team, providing gap analysis in the field of operating space robots for the international space community, and in 2016 was named “One of the 25 Women in Robotics to Know” by RoboHub.

Current interests include robotic technologies to assist in science and human exploration missions including advanced hardware, autonomous software and human-robot interaction methodologies.

The Distinguished Lecture will be followed by a drinks reception (5:00 - 6:00pm)

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