Autonomous Command Generation for Robots
Space robotics technology can provide productivity enhancements for astronauts performing extravehicular activities (EVA). Reducing or avoiding EVA time directly translates to a higher degree of safety and can reduce on-orbit servicing costs. System concept challenges result from (1) safety considerations for operating near or within the same envelope as astronauts, (2) the non-repetitive operations typical of EVA operations, and (3) the difficulty of adopting a pure teleoperations mode for all but the most simple tasks. Our proposal is to develop a nearly autonomous control methodology for an extravehicular robot (EVR). The result will be a highly intelligent controller that can control toolpath motion (or other robotic actions) autonomously, allowing the mission specialist to interact seamlessly with the robot during EV maneuvers. To define robotic motion autonomously, a 2D path and endpoint problem is translated into one that operates in a fully 3D world. This means that endpoints must be generalized to 3D positions and orientations (6 degrees of freedom (6DOF)). Particularly important is to allow the commands to be issued in a manner that is consistent with the task's level of autonomy. A combination of video camera inputs and high level command methods will be demonstrated.
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Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI 48108
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