Robotics & Drilling

Leonardo is from decades a reference partner for ASI and ESA for Robotics and Drilling & Sampling Systems. Our solutions also cover motion control systems for mechanical equipment and motion control software. We have a consolidated experience in the management for complex subsystems and large industrial teams.

Since the ‘90s Leonardo has been involved in the main space projects funded by ESA or ASI on Robotic Arms for on-orbiting service or planetary exploration tasks. Rosed, Context, Spider, Eurobot, Europa – Leonardo played a relevant role in all these projects.
The two currently recognized standards for ESA robotic arms are DEXARM and DELIAN.
DEXARM is a robot arm comparable in size, force and dexterity to a human arm. It was mounted and operated on board the Eurobot Ground Prototype.
DELIAN – Dextrous Lightweight Arm for Exploration – is a lightweight 6 degrees of freedom family of robotic arms. The family has been developed for different planetary exploration scenarios, ranging from very small arms to long slender arms. Delian was selected by ESA as reference for Mars Sample Return Mission Robotic Arms.

Leonardo is the European leading company for planetary subsoil sampling and acquisition systems.
Leonardo technology was on board the main ESA missions: 

  • ROSETTA SD2 – developed in late ‘90 and launched in 2004, the PHILAE lander with its drill arrived in 2014 on the comet Churymov-Gerasimenko. 
  • EXOMARS DRILL – Leonardo has developed the Drill System and Drill and SPDS control electronics for ExoMars mission in 2020 for collecting samples of Mars soil down to 2 meters. 
  • PROSPECT – will fly on-board the Luna-27 mission as part of the ESA-ROSCOSMOS cooperation on Lunar exploration. The destination is the South Pole of the Moon. 


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