In-Situ Training of Anthropomorphic Robots

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS9-02090
Agency Tracking Number: 012987
Amount: $68,512.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
301 N. Harrison St., Suite 242, Princeton, NJ, 08540
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Handelman
 (609) 924-4490
Business Contact
 David Handelman
Title: President
Phone: (609) 924-4490
Research Institution
The control technology under development enables human operators to teach anthropomorphic robots, in the field, how to perform new complex tasks. Building upon existing inverse kinematics, rule-based control, and neural network learning technology, the training method enhances robot capabilities through operator supervision. The current innovation enables the online construction of rule-based plans of action through verbal dialogue between operator and robot, and uses verbal, visual, and manual cues such as spoken words, hand gestures, and the pushing of buttons and joysticks to teach neural networks how to improve nominal rule-based performance. Phase I results indicate that given an underlying library of intelligent behaviors, non-trivial robot task plans can be created and modified verbally by an operator in a straightforward manner. Phase II will optimize the behavior control system, training process, and operator interface. Validation will focus on two scenarios: assisting EVA astronauts with tool preparation and handling using the Johnson Space Center?s Robonaut system, and assisting a physiologically degraded astronaut in partial gravity environments. The show-and-tell approach to adaptive control is expected to give future NASA robots an unending ability to learn, and NASA astronauts the ability to customize robot behavior for both routine tasks and unexpected situations.

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

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