Cosma - Prototype 1

July 7, 2013

I started to build the first prototype of Cosma. Cosma is basically a robot astronaut. The primary goal of this robot project is to send a small humanoid robot into Space using the eXSShot rocket. This first version will be send to near Space via a weather balloon ---  maybe end of this year.

The main idea is that not the raw data of the robots sensor devices are send back to Earth; the data are rather processed into human impressions and the according generated expressions then transmitted. So the ground station doesn't receive pitch, roll, acceleration, temperature or image data from the robot, but rather spoken statements just like a real astronaut would be sitting in the rocket capsule and commenting the surrounding scene. Additonally the raw data and the spoken statements are stored on a micro SD card.

Fig. 1 Front view of the head. The eye of the robot is a Stoneyman camera , the ears 2 dfrobot analog sound sensors

Fig. 2 Side view of the head

Fig. 3 Back view of the head

Fig. 4 Solar plexus of the robot under construction. The pain receptors are FSRs (Force Sensing Resistors)

Fig. 5 Robot skin (Silicone sealant) applied. Same trapped air bubbles because of lack of a vacuum chamber

July 9, 2013

Main frame of the robot under construction, using MicroRax:

Fig. 6. Front panel with head


July 11, 2013

Fig.7 MicroRax frame finished and base plate assembled


July 12, 2013

Fig.8 Main body with Solar plexus and pan servo. The servo is a HITEC HS-225MG, just weighs 30 g. The main body weighs now 240 g

July 13, 2013

Fig. 9 EMIC-2 text-to-speech module assembled. I made a special holder for it. It can be disassebled prior flight if no live audio down linke is available. After flight it can be assembled again and the robot reports about its experience in Space by reading the stored comments from the SD card

Fig. 10 Cosma got her head


References: - RESULTS OF THE FIRST U.S. MANNED ORBITAL SPACE FLIGHT. This document includes detailed biomedical data of astronaut John H. Glenn - High Acceleration and the Human Body. Physiological effects of high acceleration - Sugar Shot to Space project. The first amateur rocket with amateur propellant to reach space. Cosmos' carrier rocket - Robonaut 2. First humanoid robot in space Kibo Robot Project. A humanoid robot named Kirobo will be used in the world's first communication experiments between a human and a robot in space

Reports from Space

  • Actuators / output devices: 2 DOF head
  • Control method: autonomous
  • CPU: Atmega2560
  • Power source: 7.2 V / 2200 mAh NiMH
  • Programming language: Arduino C
  • Sensors / input devices: accelerometer, sound sensor, temperature sensor, FSR, AruEye camera, RTC, gyroscope
  • Target environment: Space

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Your handiwork is inspiring.

Hi MarkusB. Your handiwork always looks awesome.

I’m thinking about to use aluminium on my projects and I want to know how you make these nice cuts and how you remove “inner chunks”. With Dremel?

Other thing: Will you use GPS to locate the robot when they falling down (when the balloon bursts)?

I  bet it is a jigsaw and a lot of sand paper 

**Hi Dickel,

For larger**
Hi Dickel,

For larger cut-outs I use a Dremel, for smaller one I just pre-drill the pattern, remove the chunk, and finish it with a small flat file.
The robot has no GPS, but there is other equipment on the weather balloon which has one (actually two weather balloons are used).

Nice build Markus. How

Nice build Markus. How sensitive are the FSRs under that silicon layer?

Are you going to Nanjing for the launch?

Hi Lumi,

Actually the FSRs work best with a soft layer like silicone on it.

This one will be launched in the USA, Mojave desert…

Seeing that heavy duty frame

Seeing that heavy duty frame let me think if there is enough payload available? Is there no lighter solution on that? Or at least using lighter materials than stainlass steel screws? 

I am always impressed about the accuracy you are building Markus…you are a true German :slight_smile:

I have 600 g available. But

I have 600 g available. But you are right. I am thinking to replace the stainless steel screws by aluminium screws.


Why haven’t I seen this before?!


I absolutely adore the construction of this; I am planning a desktop asstant project, and this frame and pan/tilt head would beperfect for what I am hoping to build!

What would you say the cost of the chassis has come to matey?

Have you made any more progress with this?


Yep, buddy!The creations

Yep, buddy!

The creations from MarkusB has been a great inspiration for my work.