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Proceedings Paper

Flight telerobotic servicer legacy
Author(s): Paul L. Shattuck; James W. Lowrie
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Paper Abstract

The Flight Telerobotic Servicer (FTS) was developed to enhance and provide a safe alternative to human presence in space. The first step for this system was a precursor development test flight (DTF-1) on the Space Shuttle. DTF-1 was to be a pathfinder for manned flight safety of robotic systems. The broad objectives of this mission were three-fold: flight validation of telerobotic manipulator (design, control algorithms, man/machine interfaces, safety); demonstration of dexterous manipulator capabilities on specific building block tasks; and correlation of manipulator performance in space with ground predictions. The DTF-1 system is comprised of a payload bay element (7-DOF manipulator with controllers, end-of-arm gripper and camera, telerobot body with head cameras and electronics module, task panel, and MPESS truss) and an aft flight deck element (force-reflecting hand controller, crew restraint, command and display panel and monitors). The approach used to develop the DTF-1 hardware, software and operations involved flight qualification of components from commercial, military, space, and R controller, end-of-arm tooling, force/torque transducer) and the development of the telerobotic system for space applications. The system is capable of teleoperation and autonomous control (advances state of the art); reliable (two-fault tolerance); and safe (man-rated). Benefits from the development flight included space validation of critical telerobotic technologies and resolution of significant safety issues relating to telerobotic operations in the Shuttle bay or in the vicinity of other space assets. This paper discusses the lessons learned and technology evolution that stemmed from developing and integrating a dexterous robot into a manned system, the Space Shuttle. Particular emphasis is placed on the safety and reliability requirements for a man-rated system as these are the critical factors which drive the overall system architecture. Other topics focused on include: task requirements and operational concepts for servicing and maintenance of space platforms; origins of technology for dexterous robotic systems; issues associated with space qualification of components; and development of the industrial base to support space robotics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1992
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 1829, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space III, (1 November 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.131687
Show Author Affiliations
Paul L. Shattuck, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (United States)
James W. Lowrie, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1829:
Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space III
Jon D. Erickson, Editor(s)

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