This research focuses on concurrent methodologies for the design and development of systems for control, visual servoing and manipulation in the upper atmosphere, in space and on the small extraterrestrial bodies and planetary surfaces.

This research is being perfomed with the Space Technology Division placed in Kiruna, the Space capital of Sweden. The town is located on the 67th parallel north, 150 km above the polar circle, which enables a set of unique conditions for space-related research and industry. It is home to an array of space activities, including the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) and the Esrange.

Image-based Visual Servoing of spacecrafts for Non-cooperative Rendezvous Maneuvers

Space debris is becoming the issue of concern amongst the space community because of its repercussion on present and future space missions. Indeed, uncontrolled objects from the previous space missions are currently occupying important orbital slots, causing notable collision possibilities with operative and non-operative satellites. Despite the recent adoption of some mitigation guidelines and the development of a network of space debris surveillance and awareness, the threat of such incidents cannot be totally averted. Therefore, the need for a solution to this problem has led the space community to investigating the viability of different debris removal strategies and the definition and development of on-orbit servicing missions for satellite rescuing and repairing. Specifically, the removal of large, uncontrolled objects seems to be a viable solution for eliminating potential sources of new debris that could overcrowd low-Earth orbits. Further, on-orbit service missions have been thought for extending the operational life of satellites that cannot be easily removed by de-orbiting maneuvers but has to be dismissed in graveyard orbits at their end-of-life, mostly in Geostationary Earth orbits. Visual servoing approaches have been proposed using fixed and adaptive optics for the guidance of spacecrafts during rendezvous maneuvers.

Free-flying Space Manipulators

This research studies the kinematics, dynamics and control of multiple-arm free-flying robot manipulators for on-orbit servicing and rendezvous operations of small spacecraft. Visual servoing approaches have been developed not only to achieve a desired location with respect to an observed object in space, but also to follow a desired trajectory with respect to the object. Direct image-based controllers for guiding concurrently both the space manipulator and the base spacecraft have been proposed. The control of a spacecraft equipped with a six-degree-of-freedom robot manipulator have been studied in different scenarios. 

Free-floating Space Manipulators

This research consists of the development of image-based controllers to perform the guidance of free-floating robot manipulator. The employed manipulator has an eye-in-hand camera system, and is attached to a base satellite. The base is completely free and floating in space with no attitude control, and thus, freely reacting to the movements of the robot manipulator attached to it. The proposed image-based approach uses the system’s kinematics and dynamics model, not only to achieve a desired location with respect to an observed object in space, but also to follow a desired trajectory with respect to the object. Optimal control approaches for guiding the free-floating satellite-mounted robot is proposed.

Human Robotics Group - University of Alicante

Design and Control of Robots

Design and Control

of Robots

Advanced mechanical design of robotic devices and kinematic - dynamic control performance

Design and Control of Robots



Control algorithms for humanoid robots to perform collaborative visual and manipulative tasks

Medical Robotics



Development of robotic solutions for assistance and rehabilitation to help physically impaired people

Design and Control of Robots



Visual servo control of satellites and robotic platforms located in the space

HURO research lines are focused in the benefit of humans and environmental impact, developing solutions for human-robot interaction and services, for helping disabled people and for spacecraft control applications.

Contact us

  • Human Robotics
    UA Polythecnic School 3
    Physics, Systems Engineering and Signal Theory Department
    University of Alicante
    Ctra San Vicente del Raspeig s/n
    San vicente del Raspeig
    03690 Alicante, Spain.

  • (+34) 965 903 400 Ext. 1094


  • Week Days   : 09:00 – 18:00
    Saturday, Sunday   : Holiday