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Proceedings Paper

Characteristics and requirements of robotic manipulators for space operations
Author(s): James F. Andary; Dennis R. Hewitt; Peter D. Spidaliere; Robert W. Lambeck
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Paper Abstract

For the last several years, NASA has been developing a telerobotic system as part of the Flight Telerobotic Servicer (FTS) Project at Goddard Space Flight Center. A development test flight of a robotic manipulator, labeled DTF-1, was planned for a shuttle mission in 1993. The purpose was to evaluate the design of the manipulator and workstation and correlate system performance in space with ground tests. Although the funding for DTF-1 was eliminated in September 1991, the design of the DTF-1 system has been completed and flight hardware is now in different stages of development, with some items, such as the gripper, already built, qualified, and delivered. With its manipulator, gripper, cameras, computer, and operator control station, the DTF-1 system design incorporates the fundamental building blocks of the original FTS, the end product of which was to have been a lightweight, dexterous telerobotic device that would evolve into an autonomous robot. The approach was to adapt current teleoperation and robotic technologies into a system that could operate in space. This was a new undertaking for NASA, something that had never been done before, and something that was full of challenges. This paper describes the DTF-1 system design and discusses the technical, operational, and safety considerations that affected the design. It also discuses the `lessons' that were learned during the design and early development stages in an effort to capture some of the knowledge from the program.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1992
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1612, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space II, (1 March 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.56741
Show Author Affiliations
James F. Andary, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Dennis R. Hewitt, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Peter D. Spidaliere, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Robert W. Lambeck, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Co. (United States)


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

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