Multi-Robot Systems for Subsurface Planetary Exploration

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$124,780.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX12CG30P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
110220
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
T8.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
PA, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-3524
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
019738852
Principal Investigator:
Steven Huber
Principal Investigator
(281) 389-8171
steve.huber@astrobotictech.com
Business Contact:
David Gump
Business Official
(412) 682-3282
david.gump@astrobotictech.com
Research Institution:
Carnegie Mellon University
Kim Basile
5000 Forbes
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-3815
() -
Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
The proposed innovation is a heterogeneous multi-robot team developed as a platform for effective subsurface planetary exploration. State-of-art robotic exploration is based on single-robot systems with human controllers augmented by limited automation. This system requires near-constant communication and a single failure results in the end of the mission. A multi-robot system offers more efficient execution of mission tasks, such as exploration and mapping. The robotic team can re-configure in novel ways to extend range, increase mapping fidelity, or maintain a communication link.Innovative robot configurations will be developed to overcome the challenges of the subsurface environment. These challenges include power in the dark, communication to Earth, and mobility in rocky terrain. The robot team will implement state-of-art software developed at CMU to enable navigation of rough terrain, autonomous collaboration among large multi-robot groups, and sensing and navigation. Since subterranean features provide protection from surface hazards, low-cost electronics may be used to reduce mission costs. The multi-robot system provides:Parallelized exploration of large spaces or tunnel networksAutonomous task generationAutonomous reconfiguration of robot team to achieve a particular taskSingle robot failure does not result in end of mission

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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