The ERGO framework and its use in planetary/orbital scenarios

Jorge Ocón, Francisco Colmenero, Joaquín Estremera, Karl Buckley, Mercedes Alonso, Enrique Heredia, Javier Garcia, Andrew Ian Coles, Amanda Jane Coles, Moises Martinez Munoz, Okkes Emre Savas, Florian Pommerening, Thomas Keller, Spyros Karachalios, Mark Woods, Iulia Dragomir, Saddek Bensalem, Pierre Dissaux, Arnaud Schach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)


ERGO (European Robotic Goal-Oriented Autonomous Controller) is one of the six space robotic projects in
the frame of the first call of the PERASPERA SRC. ERGO is aimed to future space missions, in which space robots
will require a higher level of autonomy (e.g. Exomars or Mars2020). As a framework, ERGO provides a set of
components that can be reused and tailored for robots space missions (Orbital, Deep Space or Planetary
Explorations) in which the on-board system has to work autonomously, performing complex operations in hazardous
environments without human intervention. The concept of autonomy can be applied to a whole set of operations to
be performed on-board with no human supervision, such as Martian exploration rovers, deep space probes, or in-
orbit assembly robots. In the last decades, the advantages of increasing the level of autonomy in spacecraft have been
demonstrated in planetary rovers. At the same time, orbital space missions have already successfully applied
autonomy concepts on board, in particular for autonomous event detection and on-board activities planning.

ERGO provides a framework for on-board autonomy systems based on a specific paradigm aimed to facilitate an
easy integration and/or expansion covering future mission needs; by using this paradigm, both reactive and
deliberative capabilities can be orchestrated on-board. In ERGO, deliberative capabilities are provided via AI
techniques: automated planning and machine-learning based vision systems. ERGO also provides a set of tools for
developing safety-critical space mission applications and FDIR systems. Moreover, specific components for motion
planning, path planning, hazard avoidance and trajectory control are also part of the framework. Finally, ERGO is
integrated with the TASTE middleware. All ERGO components are now being tested in an orbital and a planetary

This paper discusses the ERGO components, its main characteristics, and how they have been applied to an
orbital and a planetary scenario. It provides an overview of the evolution of the ERGO system; its main components
and the future extensions planned for it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Space Robotics
  • Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Robotic Controllers


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