Rexroth in Space

Often we can listen to a machine over the phone and hear that the parameters have been misconfigured. This is because, since we have been Rexroth Indramat motion control specialists for so many years, we know what the machinery ought to sound like and how it sounds when it’s got problems.

Automation at its best takes this kind of specialized skill and knowledge found among human experts and builds it into machines.


Rexroth’s parent company, Bosch, introduced a device called SoundSee at the Consumer Electronics Show back in 2020. SoundSee captures noise data from machinery and sends it to human scientists for analysis.

Just as we can hear that a third-party shop repaired a drive wrong, SoundSee can tell when something is not quite right. Or, as Project Lead Dr. Samarjit Das puts it, “Our SoundSee AI algorithm uses machine learning to analyze these subtle acoustic clues and determine whether a machine, or even a single component of a machine, needs to be repaired or replaced.”

It’s useful to automate this kind of knowledge, and even more useful when the machinery is not readily accessible to the engineers who can identify the issues.

That’s certainly the case when the SoundSee rides on NASA’s Astrobee Robot, an autonomous vehicle on the International Space Station. SoundSee has been part of the maintenance routine for a couple of years now.


Bosch is also involved in research and development for NASA’s CubeRovers, which are intended for moon exploration.

At CES 2021, Bosch shared their exploits in helping the CubeRovers use AI to naviagate without GPS access and to recharge themselves.

Once again, machine maintenance in space is a perfect opportunity for automation.

Bringing it home

For CES 2022, Bosch showed a new application of SoundSee using skills honed through its work on the International Space Station.

The new ap0plication allows doctors to hear asthma in the lungs of children. Automatic analysis of a child’s breathing during pediatric visits can flag kids who may have breathing disorders. Patients would then follow up with a human pediatrician.

Clinical trials are planned for this year.

Meanwhile, back in the factory, if you need support or service for any of your Rexroth motion control systems, we can help get you back up and running fast. Call or use our simple contact form.

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