SpaceHuman 2.0

Valentina Sumini 

SpaceHuman is a soft robotics device designed to facilitate the exploration of environments with reduced gravity in a view of democratization and openness towards access to space and its exploration.  It is based on the idea that one day, people who have not received a long preparation and training, as happens today with the astronauts, will be able to have access to the space having a type of conformation and physical configuration that is not adapted to this kind of setting. 

The analysis of the unique seahorse's tail structure became the insight of the overall biomimetic design process. In fact, seahorse tail movement, gripping and protection to the seahorse while floating. Moreover, seahorses do not use their tails to swim; instead, they use them to grasp objects in their environment while they camouflage to hide from predators and hunts for prey. Flexibility and resiliency are key features that enable these behaviours.

SpaceHuman is an additive prosthesis or otherwise definable as a "supernumerary robot." SpaceHuman will facilitate the use of space in zero gravity or reduced gravity restoring the right motion and balance of our body and assigning a new function to a part of our body that until now has not been fully exploited except for the transport of loads, our back. Users will thus be able to build a new poetics of the body and its movements within this radically different space through SpaceHuman, creating new scenarios of its application. Through air chambers specifically designed to be able to change their shape and bend along a reinforcing rib of the material, the people who will use SpaceHuman will be able to cling to useful surfaces inside orbital housing or in lunar or martian villages.