Advanced Modeling Tools for Controlling Complex Assets Across Time Delay
Prior to human arrival, lunar robots will conduct a variety of precursor operations. Some of these will need supervision from Earth. After humans arrive, robots will continue to follow a mix of autonomy, local control, and ground control. For best utility, a strong model is needed of the expected responses of the robots to various commands. Such a model enables procedure authors to verify expected outcomes, enhances situational awareness for remote operators in the presence of time delay, and provides a mechanism for planning. We propose a simulation module for assisting an operator across a time delay.
The proposed innovation is a hybrid simulation module to replace the current "Behavioral Sim" in JSC's Predictive Interactive Graphical Interface (PIGI). PIGI helps an operator compensate for lunar-scale time delay, and is part of NASA's "RAPID Workbench". The Behavioral Sim acts as an oracle, taking initial conditions and a sequence of commands and producing trajectories and expected final location of the robot. We propose to provide functionality to (1) keep and reason about the robot's internal state; (2) model relevant aspects of the robot's workspace; (3) reason at a high level about manipulation; and (4) model the uncertainty cone of the predictions.
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