2023 SMC-IT/SCC Workshop on Space Robotics Software

There is a growing need for robots in space. Applications range from station keeping aboard space stations, performing in-space servicing, assembly and manufacturing, and lunar/planetary exploration. This workshop will discuss software needs for these different use cases, to what extent these needs could benefit from common software frameworks, and the role of open source software for space robotics.

The one-day workshop will be divided into two halves, divided by a lunch break. We intend to invite speakers and robot demonstrations. The purpose is to provide a general overview of the state of robotics in space, highlight specific topics our speakers have encountered in their experiences, and host a collaborative session to review the current state of robotics and robot software development for space missions. We intend that at the end of the workshop, attendees understand the current state of robotics in space, participate in recommendations for the future, and better understand the robotics community.

Topics of interest for presentations include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with NASA and the emerging LEO Destinations groups
  • Creating open source software for interoperability in space
  • Validation & verification of flight robotics software
  • Multi-robot coordination and systems integration
  • Local vs remote communication/computation
  • Cross-platform re-useability


We plan to have a full-day program of invited talks, a poster session, and a panel discussion. Stay tuned for details of the exact speaker line-up as well as details on how to submit a poster abstract.

Speakers (Tentative)

  • Sarah Withee (Lead, Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium Extreme Access PNT subgroup at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab) (confirmed)
  • Evan Laske (Deputy Team Lead of the Dextrous Robotics group at NASA Johnson Space Center)
  • Trey Smith (Research Computer Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center)
  • Terry Fong (Director of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA Ames Research Center)
  • Dave Coleman (CEO, PickNik Robotics) (confirmed)
  • Carl Henshaw (Roboticist, Naval Research Laboratory)
  • Michael Jeronimo (Space ROS Technical Lead at Open Robotics)
  • Ivan Perez (Senior Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center) (confirmed)
  • Bill Tandy (Chief Engineer/Lead Systems Engineer at Gravitics)


  • Sean Kolk (Director of Business Development, PickNik Robotics)
  • Mark Moll (Director of Research, PickNik Robotics)


Please contact the organizers at hello@picknik.ai with any questions.