IDAHO Robotic Lunar Exploration Program - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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IDAHO Robotic Lunar Exploration Program


IDAHO Robotic Lunar Exploration Program Sponsors: NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium NASA Ames Research Center University of Idaho College of Engineering – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: IDAHO Robotic Lunar Exploration Program

IDAHO Robotic Lunar Exploration Program
  • Sponsors
  • NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • University of Idaho College of Engineering

  • National government has made a goal to return
    humans to the moon by 2020 and later to Mars and
    further destinations in the solar system.
  • Precursor robotic missions to prepare for human
    exploration and habitat.
  • NASA established RLEP, later Lunar Precursor and
    Robotics Program (LPRP), to prioritize and carry
    out lunar robotic missions.

  • Moon is a nearby place
  • Astronauts can learn to live and work in a
    hostile environment before heading off to more
    distant destinations.

  • Some goals of robotic exploration are to
  • an early assessment of human exploration targets
    on the Moon
  • a risk mitigation strategy for both the
    technology developments needed for human
    exploration and the emplacement of supporting

  • Non-dexterous mobile manipulators capable of
    excavating and resource extraction partner with
    dexterous mobile manipulators to
  • Mine raw minerals
  • Clear pathways
  • Place landing beacons
  • Dig trenches
  • Install habitat modules
  • Cover them with regolith to
  • protect them from radiation

  • The same machines will transition over time to
    assist humans that occupy these habitats and will
    also serve as caretakers in between human crews.

NASAs Plan
  • NASA has established the following objectives for
    the initial robotic elements in the Lunar
    Precursor and Robotics Program
  • Characterization of the Lunar radiation
    environment, biological impacts, and potential

NASAs Plan
  • Determination of a high resolution 3-D geodetic
    grid for the Moon   - Global geodetic knowledge
    of topography   - Detailed topographic
    characterization at landing site scales

NASAs Plan
  • Polar region resources assessment (and landing
    site safety)   - Largest unknown in present
    knowledge of lunar resources

NASAs Plan
  • High spatial resolution global resource
    assessment   - Elemental composition, mineralogy
    and regolith characteristics

Idaho RLEP Description
  • Team Composition
  • Up to 5 teams of students from Idaho colleges and
  • From 3 to 8 additional undergraduate members
  • Graduate team lead
  • Faculty advisor

Idaho RLEP Description
  • Teams will be assigned one of three challenges
    related to NASAs Lunar Precursor and Robotics
    Program, as prioritized by the NASA Ames Research
    Center. These devices should be very task
    versatile and be able to complete a number of
    task without the use of additional devices.

Idaho RLEP Description
  • The students designs will be delivered to NASA
    Ames Research Center for integration and testing
    on an existing robotic platform.

RLEP Challenge Examples
  • Non-Prehensile Mobile Manipulation (2
    Projects) design of non-prehensile robot
    manipulation devices for lunar surface
    operations, such as digging/trenching, loading,
    cable running, conveying or dumping
  • Robotic Rock Flipper design of a lightweight
    device that can be mounted on a planetary rover
    robot to grasp/jiggle-free a rock and re-orient
    for inspection

Idaho RLEP Project Specs
  • Project Descriptions
  • Design, fabricate, and test a non-prehensile
    robotic manipulation device for lunar surface
  • Design should be an electro-mechanical device and
    be able to accomplish specific deliverables to be
  • Mechanism will be built to test operational
    concepts involved in the lunar exploration

Idaho RLEP Project Specs
  • Design Requirements
  • The device should be tested on normal earth soil
  • The power-to-weight ratio should be maximized
  • The device should be robust and the operation and
    control should be repeatable
  • Sensing, including but not limited to joint
    encoders and force sensors, must be incorporated
    into the design
  • The size, weight, and power consumption of the
    device should be minimized wherever possible

Mobile Manipulation
  • Definition moving, reorienting, carrying,
    arranging, assembling or disassembling objects
    from a mobile platform.
  • Freedom to locate manipulator relative to task
  • Mobility may be used in manipulation task
  • Focused on task mechanics required to complete
    a task
  • May involve contact, friction and/or impact

Mobile Manipulation
  • Approaches
  • Algorithmic, controls, geometric
  • Use of task mechanics and non-prehensile
  • Integration between manipulation and mobility
  • Problems
  • Platform does not know exactly where it is in
  • Mobility and manipulator freedom redundancy
  • Nonholonomic constraints of a mobile base

Mobile Manipulation
  • Basic Activities
  • Scientific experiments
  • Habitat construction
  • Unloading lander and assembling/deploying
  • Astronaut assistance

Mobile Manipulation
  • Scientific experiments
  • - Drilling and core sampling
  • - Rock flipping
  • - Conduct lab experiments
  • - Collect and process rock/regolith

Mobile Manipulation
  • Habitat construction
  • - Assembling
  • - Determining location
  • - Placing landing beacons
  • - Leveling
  • - Running/Burying cables
  • - Dig/load/transport regolith
  • - Deployment assistance (ISRU)

Non-prehensile Manipulation
  • Definition non-dexterous manipulation,or
    without the use of fingers, for grasping to
    control and maneuver object(s).
  • Modes
  • Pushing
  • Tapping
  • Striking
  • Rolling
  • Toppling
  • Flipping
  • Digging
  • Trenching
  • Drilling
  • Sweeping

Research and Technical Challenges
  • Embodiment (Power, actuation, packaging,
    mechanism sensors)
  • Simple, robust, cost effective mechanical
    systems combining
  • - Safety
  • - Load carrying capacity and speed
  • - Dexterity
  • - Power
  • Reliable integrated packages for actuation
  • - Power source
  • - Power-to-weight ratio
  • - Volume
  • - Controllability
  • Reliable integrated packages for sensing
  • - Tactile
  • - Proprioceptive
  • - Force
  • - Joint Encoders

Research and Technical Challenges
  • Design of versatile manipulators
  • - Mass/volume/power is at a premium
  • - Take advantage of non-prehensile manipulation
  • - Using mobility to aid manipulation (adds DOF
    and strength)
  • - Whole arm manipulation
  • - Reconfigurable manipulator?

Research and Technical Challenges
  • Control/Perception/Representation/Cognition
  • Establish approaches to representing
    sensorimotor interaction
  • - Needed at several levels (feature, object,
  • - Needed at several spatial and temporal scales
  • Establish control techniques for robots to
    interact purposefully with the environment at
    scales representing the human niche
  • - From 10-2 m to 101 m
  • - From 0.01 N to 102 N
  • - From ms to hrs

Research and Technical Challenges
  • Control/Perception/Representation/Cognition
  • Incomplete world state must be addressed with
    intelligent, active information gathering
    technologies that recover critical context on a
    task-by-task basis
  • Establish approaches for modeling activity
    in sensor data and discrete event feedback
  • Representations employed by robots must be
    grounded in natural phenomena accessible
    directly to humans and robots alike

Research and Technical Challenges
  • Quasi-kinematic tasks
  • Much laboratory manipulation could be done
    using purely kinematic (geometric) motion
    planning and control
  • - Ex. Collect samples, automobile fabrication
  • - Move devices and equipment around
  • There are many times when some dynamic
    manipulation may be needed or required
  • - Ex A sample is stuck in its container and
    needs to be shaken out

  • By Summer 2007, NASA Ames will have several
    mobile manipulators to test and integrate
  • By 2009, NASA will have launched its first
    mission in a series of lunar missions
  • By at least 2020, humans will have returned to
    the moon and will be preparing to go farther