Multi-Robot Systems for Subsurface Planetary Exploration

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Amount:
$124,780.00
Program:
STTR
Contract:
NNX12CG30P
Solitcitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Branch:
N/A
Award Year:
2012
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
110220
Solicitation Topic Code:
T8.01
Small Business Information
Astrobotic Technology, Inc.
PA, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213-3524
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
019738852
Principal Investigator
 Steven Huber
 Principal Investigator
 (281) 389-8171
 steve.huber@astrobotictech.com
Business Contact
 David Gump
Title: Business Official
Phone: (412) 682-3282
Email: 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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