Space robotics is the development of general purpose machines that are capable of surviving (for a time, at least) the rigors of the space environment, and performing exploration, assembly, construction, maintenance, servicing or other tasks that may or may not have been fully understood at the time of the design of the robot. Humans control space robots from either a “local” control console (e.g. with essentially zero speed-of-light delay, as in the case of the Space Shuttle robot arm (Figure 3.1) controlled by astronauts inside the pressurized cabin) or “remotely” (e.g. with non-negligible speed-of-light delays, as in the case of the Mars Exploration Rovers (Figure 3.2) controlled from human operators on Earth). Space robots are generally designed to do multiple tasks, including unanticipated tasks, within a broad sphere of competence (e.g. payload deployment, retrieval, or inspection; planetary exploration).