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Proceedings Paper

Future needs for space robots for SEI
Author(s): Jon D. Erickson; Charles R. Price; Don Cooke
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Paper Abstract

Recent studies of the types, numbers, and roles of robotic systems for use in the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), with a focus on planet surface systems (PSS), are summarized in this paper. These high-level systems' engineering, modeling, and analysis activities have supported trade studies and development of preliminary requirements for intelligent systems including supervised autonomous robotic systems. The analyses are summarized, results presented, and conclusions and recommendations are made. One conclusion is that SEI will be `enabled' by the use of supervised intelligent systems on the planet surfaces. These intelligent systems include capabilities for control and monitoring of all elements including supervised autonomous robotic systems. With the proper level of intelligent systems, the number and skills of humans on the planet surface will be determined predominantly by surface science and technology (not outpost) objectives and requirements. A broad range of robotic system uses in Earth orbit or during space transport are indicated by current studies. These include assembly of very large spacecraft systems such as propulsion systems and aerobraking structures. Maintenance is another robotic system use being studied. The differences in requirements for these and other space robotic systems compared to current industrial robotic systems are presented. Improvements in safety, reliability, and maintainability for these remote systems are stressed. Space robotics, especially those systems being developed to operate on planetary surfaces, can be considered a form of the emerging technology of field robotics on Earth. The solutions to the problems we will be solving to make the exploration of our solar system possible and practical will apply to the many problems we have which require operating in hazardous environments on Earth and to critically improving human productivity in many fields.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1992
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1612, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space II, (1 March 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.56740
Show Author Affiliations
Jon D. Erickson, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Charles R. Price, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Don Cooke, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1612:
Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space II
William E. Stoney, Editor(s)

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