Skip to main content

Robotic Manufacturing Platforms for Deep Space

Daniel Cellucci is working on the infrastructure next phase of human civilization.

Exactly fifty years ago, a Soviet Astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev proposed a yardstick by which we, as a species, could measure our progress in the cosmos. Type 0 civilizations have barely mastered the potential of their planet, while Type 1 civilizations have fully harnessed the resources available in their solar system, offering an exponential increase of resources and energy. We are on the cusp of becoming a Type 1 civilization, but first we need the ability to build structures of a massive scale in space.

Daniel is currently working on a platform for creating structural elements in microgravity environments. It involves designing both the complex periodic mechanisms that compose these structures as well as the robotic assemblers that bring these elements together into desired geometries. Additionally, these structures are designed to be both sparse and strong, maximizing the utility of the components that are sent to climb out of the gravity well.

Daniel studied computational condensed matter physics at the University of Georgia, but in his free time helped artists make works that crossed the boundaries between the sciences and the arts. Now he works at the Creative Machines Lab under Dr. Hod Lipson at Cornell University and NASA Ames Research Center with Dr. Kenneth C. Cheung, studying robotic manufacturing platforms for deep space exploration.