"In space it will be robots and humans, not robots versus humans", said Rob Ambrose, chief of the Software, Robotics and Simulation Division at NASA's Johnson Space Center, at a robotics conference in 2014. "We have a vision for Mars that definitely includes robots."
Advances in robotic autonomy, mobility, sensing, communication and human-robot interaction will be critical.
A lot of that work is being done on the space station, which serves as a stepping stone for humans to venture further from home and deeper into space.
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