Exploration Technologies at Honeybee Robotics: Touch Life and Mine the Sky

Exploration Technologies at Honeybee Robotics: Touch Life and Mine the Sky

Kris ZacnyDirector of Exploration Technology GroupHoneybee Robotics

February 14, 2018

Zoom Recording: https://zoom.us/recording/play/Wn7cFap5W3mJdIkfuj9ZSj_lE9K5dx31Dh_xZHcC_qmbR0FBZLSBAWpn40sWJeJ


The purpose of my presentation is to introduce Honeybee Robotics’ Exploration Technology Group (ETG) to the Center of Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics. The ETG has two primary focus areas: Touch Life (search and find life in the Solar System) and Mine the Sky (space mining or In Situ Resource Utilization). To find life, we need to go subsurface – hence we need drills or some kind of subsurface probes. To enable ISRU, we need some kind of a mining and processing system. I will focus on several projects that are currently being worked on in our Pasadena, CA location. These projects includes: AutoGopher2/WATSON deep drills for penetrating 15 km of Europa ice sheet, RedWater for extracting tons of water on Mars, WINE (The World Is Not Enough) for mining asteroids water and using steam propulsion to hop to other asteroids, TRIDENT lunar drill for the Resource Prospector mission, and PlanetVac pneumatic mining system.


Dr. Kris Zacny is Director of Exploration Technology Group at Honeybee Robotics. His expertise includes terrestrial and extraterrestrial robotic drilling, excavation, sample handling and processing, geotechnical systems, and sensors.
In his previous capacity as an engineer in the South African mining industry, Dr. Zacny managed numerous mining projects and production divisions. Dr. Zacny received his PhD (UC Berkeley, 2005) in Geotechnical Engineering with an emphasis on Mars drilling, ME (UC Berkeley, 2001) in Petroleum Engineering with emphasis on Drilling and Materials Science, and BSc cum laude (U. Cape Town, 1997) in Mechanical Engineering.
He has participated in several Arctic, Antarctic, Atacama, and Greenland expeditions. Dr Zacny has over 200 publications related to extreme drilling and excavation, managed over 100 technology projects, he has over 40 NASA New Technology Records and four NASA Group Achievement Awards.