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Proceedings Paper

Design and control of ultralight manipulators for interplanetary exploration
Author(s): Eric A. Byler
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Paper Abstract

Design and construction of an extremely lightweight manipulator is discussed. This 3m 4kg arm can manipulate a payload of 20N half its weight on earth and almost twice its weight on Mars. Limited manipulator performance resulting from design constraints requires innovative control techniques. These include flexible control (for the non-stiff structure) endpoint control (for the compliant mechanisms) and arm/vehicle cooperation (for dynamic interactions and limited payload capability). Synergistic use of sensors and planners between the two semi-autonomous arm and vehicle systems is discussed as it affected prototype design. Use of the NASREM standard functional architecture improved system integration and allows installation on both our wheeled and walking rovers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 February 1991
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 1387, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space, (1 February 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.25435
Show Author Affiliations
Eric A. Byler, Martin Marietta Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1387:
Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space
Rui J. P. de Figueiredo; William E. Stoney, Editor(s)

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