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Proceedings Paper

Real-time collision avoidance in space: the GETEX experiment
Author(s): Eckhard Freund; Juergen Rossmann; Michael Schluse
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Paper Abstract

Intelligent autonomous robotic systems require efficient safety components to assure system reliability during the entire operation. Especially if commanded over long distances, the robotic system must be able to guarantee the planning of safe and collision free movements independently. Therefore the IRF developed a new collision avoidance methodology satisfying the needs of autonomous safety systems considering the dynamics of the robots to protect. To do this, the collision avoidance system cyclically calculates the actual collision danger of the robots with respect to all static and dynamic obstacles in the environment. If a robot gets in collision danger the methodology immediately starts an evasive action to avoid the collision and guides the robot around the obstacle to its target position. This evasive action is calculated in real-time in a mathematically exact way by solving a quadratic convex optimization problem. The secondary conditions of this optimization problem include the potential collision danger of the robots kinematic chain including all temporarily attached grippers and objects and the dynamic constraints of the robots. The result of the optimization procedure are joint accelerations to apply to prevent the robot from colliding and to guide it to its target position. This methodology has been tested very successfully during the Japanese/German space robot project GETEX in April 1999. During the mission, the collision avoidance system successfully protected the free flying Japanese robot ERA on board the satellite ETS-VII at all times. The experiments showed, that the developed system is fully capable of ensuring the safety of such autonomous robotic systems by actively preventing collisions and generating evasive actions in cases of collision danger.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 October 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4196, Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems III, (16 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.403725
Show Author Affiliations
Eckhard Freund, Univ. Dortmund (Germany)
Juergen Rossmann, Univ. Dortmund (Germany)
Michael Schluse, Univ. Dortmund (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4196:
Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems III
Gerard T. McKee; Paul S. Schenker, Editor(s)

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