Mateusz Wolski, leader of the Key Projects Office at the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements, talked to us about the prospects for the Polish space-robotics industry, and about the chances of using the international situation and plans for the future. The interview also covered the own initiatives undertaken by the Institute and numerous challenges faced by the facility and by the young, Polish companies, in the field of space technologies.
Space Robotics is a prospective market – as Mateusz Wolski, leader of the Key Projects Office at the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements, told us in an interview, during the Space Sector Forum 2016. This thread was then expanded, with a list of specific reasons. Firstly, this is a new area of operations for the European Space Agency.The foreign companies and scientific/research partners from other European states are very open to collaboration, and the Polish companies may be included in the chain of subcontractors and supply chain, at the early stages, during which the market will be shaped.This is the main difference between the space robotics, and the fields of Earth observation or telecommunications.Secondly, a number of companies and research institutes that have already gained some experience in that field, by being involved in ESA or EU programmes, exists in Poland.”
Then, the representative of the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements also noted that there are numerous chances of development for the Polish space industry, along with a beneficial international climate for carrying out business activities of the considered profile. “Now is a good time to enter the field of space robotics, since this area is being shaped at the moment”– Wolski stressed. Then he added: “ESA will begin the first mission related to the Orbital Robotics in 2020, so we still have time to develop the technology, products and to allow our companies to deliver solutions for the future missions, not only on the basis of price competition, and the fact that we are able to deliver the given solution cheaper than our German or French counterpart, but also thanks to a certain uniqueness of the offered solutions, as we would be acting as a sole contractor in Europe, who would be able to deliver the given robotic product for the European Space Agency.”
Among the issues touched, the areas of the current initiatives pursued by the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements and own projects in the field of space technologies, carried out at the moment, were also mentioned. In his statement, Director of the Key Projects Office at the Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements, presented the current area of works undertaken by the institute, and its placement in the order of works that are being realized. [Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements, during the Space Sector Forum 2016 – eds.] presents a gripper the purpose of which is to be used for deorbiting the satellites. It is a robotic gripper, developed on the basis of our prior experience in the field of defence and security (mobile robots).This gripper, in five years, as we hope, will be carried as a part of the e.Deorbit mission, the aim of which would be to deorbit the EnviSat sattelite.”