NOVEL PROPORTIONAL PROXIMITY SENSOR FOR AUTONOMOUS, SPACE BASED ROBOTS

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$500,000.00
Award Year:
1988
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
5154
Agency Tracking Number:
5154
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, 02172
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
() -
Business Contact:
DR. MICHAEL R. SQUILLANTE
INVESTIGATOR
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
ROBOTICS IS BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT FIELD IN RESEARCH AND MANUFACTURING. MOST ROBOTS, HOWEVER, EITHER PERFORM REPETITIVE PREPROGRAMMED OPERATIONS OR ARE GUIDED BY A HUMAN OPERATOR. THIS IS NOT PRACTICAL IN MANY APPLICATIONS WHERE AUTONOMOUS OPERATION IS REQUIRED, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT IMPROVEMENTS IN FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ROBOTS, ESPECIALLY FOR SPACE APPLICATIONS, WILL COME IN THE AREAS OF OBJECT RECOGNITION AND DECISION MAKING. TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, ROBOT MANIPULATOR CONTROL WILL REQUIRE CLOSED LOOP, SENSOR BASED SYSTEMS TO OBTAIN AND ANALYZE INFORMATION FROM THE MANIPULATOR ABOUT ITS NEIGHBORHOOD. PROGRESS IN THIS AREA IS AT PRESENT LIMITED PARTIALLY BY SENSOR TECHNOLOGY. TO ADDRESS THE LIMITATIONS FOUND IN PRESENT PROXIMITY SENSOR SYSTEMS, WE PROPOSE TO INVESTIGATE A NOVEL APPROACH TO MAKING A RELATIVELY SIMPLE BUT VERY PRECISE PROPORTIONAL PROXIMITY SENSOR WHICH WILL BE INDEPENDENT OF THE OBJECTS MATERIAL OR SURFACE PROPERTIES. OUR APPROACH INVOLVES THE USE OF NUCLEAR BACKSCATTER USING SMALL ISOTOPIC SOURCES AND COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT SENSORS WHICH CAN BE CONTAINED WITHIN THE MANIPULATOR. THIS APPROACH IS STRAIGHTFORWARD AND REQUIRES RELATIVELY SIMPLE ELECTRONICCIRCUITRY AND THUS, IF SUCCESSFUL, IT COULD BE READILY IMPLEMENTED ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF ROBOTS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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