Recently, the European Union funded the project PULSAR (Prototype of an Ultra Large Structure Assembly Robot) through the Space Robotic Technologies program within Horizon 2020. PULSAR aims to develop and demonstrate the technology that will allow on-orbit precise assembly of a segmented mirror using an autonomous robotic
system. Within PULSAR, DLR, together with CSEM (Switzerland), Space Application Services (Belgium) and Magellium, (France) developed the demonstrator of Precise Assembly of Mirror Tiles (dPAMT), focused on assembling a functional section of a primary mirror using an autonomous mobile robot. The demonstrator used a KUKA KMR robot, endowed with a KUKA iiwa arm, for manipulating the segmented mirror tiles through the HOTDOCK standard interface, and performing the assembly using compliant control. The active mirror tiles have the capacity to perform adaptive motions in order to guarantee proper performance of the resulting mirror. The demonstrator successfully showed the autonomous planning and execution of the assembly, and paves the way to turn into reality the ambition of creating a large telescope assembled directly in space.