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Grasp Algorithms For Optotactile Robotic Sample Acquisition

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CA94C
Agency Tracking Number: 085493
Amount: $598,464.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.09
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-07-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2013-04-09
Small Business Information
727 Airport Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-1639
United States
DUNS: 197187602
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Katherine Jordan
 Principal Investigator
 (734) 668-2567
 proposals@cybernet.com
Business Contact
 Norma Heller
Title: VP, Finance & Operations
Phone: (734) 734-2567
Email: contracts@cybernet.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Robotic sample acquisition is essentially grasping. Multi-finger robot sample grasping devices are controlled to securely pick up samples. Equations have been developed to provide optimal grasps for perfectly modeled objects, but grasping unmodeled objects like a random sample on planetary surfaces is an open research problem. Approaches to grasping unmodeled objects use various sensors, such as cameras, distributed pressure sensors, and strain gages, to characterize the object and the quality of a grasp. That information is then used to initiate or improve the grasp. A major source of difficulty in robotic grasping, therefore, is the sensing of object parameters and grasp quality. Humans combine the high information content of vision, several types of haptic/tactile sensors in the fingers (300 sensors per square centimeter), and a sophisticated learning process to grasp unknown objects. In comparison, current robotic graspers rely on a much more limited set of sensors, particularly for measuring tactile properties.

This proposal focuses on an algorithm for improving grasp quality using several types of tactile information as well as the robotic grasper that can provide such information so that remote sample acquisition devices can perform as well as human sample gatherers

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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