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Proceedings Paper

Robotic automation for space: planetary surface exploration, terrain-adaptive mobility, and multirobot cooperative tasks
Author(s): Paul S. Schenker; Terrance L. Huntsberger; Paolo Pirjanian; Eric T. Baumgartner; Hrand Aghazarian; Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu; Patrick C. Leger; Yang Cheng; Paul G. Backes; Edward Tunstel; Steven Dubowsky; Karl D. Iagnemma; Gerard T. McKee
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Paper Abstract

During the last decade, there has been significant progress toward a supervised autonomous robotic capability for remotely controlled scientific exploration of planetary surfaces. While planetary exploration potentially encompasses many elements ranging from orbital remote sensing to subsurface drilling, the surface robotics element is particularly important to advancing in situ science objectives. Surface activities include a direct characterization of geology, mineralogy, atmosphere and other descriptors of current and historical planetary processes-and ultimately-the return of pristine samples to Earth for detailed analysis. Toward these ends, we have conducted a broad program of research on robotic systems for scientific exploration of the Mars surface, with minimal remote intervention. The goal is to enable high productivity semi-autonomous science operations where available mission time is concentrated on robotic operations, rather than up-and-down-link delays. Results of our work include prototypes for landed manipulators, long-ranging science rovers, sampling/sample return mobility systems, and more recently, terrain-adaptive reconfigurable/modular robots and closely cooperating multiple rover systems. The last of these are intended to facilitate deployment of planetary robotic outposts for an eventual human-robot sustained scientific presence. We overview our progress in these related areas of planetary robotics R&D, spanning 1995-to-present.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2001
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 4572, Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XX: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision, (5 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444181
Show Author Affiliations
Paul S. Schenker, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Terrance L. Huntsberger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Paolo Pirjanian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eric T. Baumgartner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Hrand Aghazarian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Patrick C. Leger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Yang Cheng, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Paul G. Backes, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Edward Tunstel, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Steven Dubowsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Karl D. Iagnemma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Gerard T. McKee, Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4572:
Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XX: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision
David P. Casasent; Ernest L. Hall, Editor(s)

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