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Proceedings Paper

Technology test results from an intelligent, free-flying robot for crew and equipment retrieval in space
Author(s): Jon D. Erickson; R. Goode; K. A. Grimm; Clifford W. Hess; Robert S. Norsworthy; Greg D. Anderson; L. Merkel; Dale E. Phinney
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Paper Abstract

The ground-based demonstrations of Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Retriever, a voice- supervised, intelligent, free-flying robot, are designed to evaluate the capability to retrieve objects (astronauts, equipment, and tools) which have accidentally separated from the space station. The EVA Retriever software is required to autonomously plan and execute a target rendezvous, grapple, and return to base while avoiding stationary and moving obstacles with subsequent object handover. The software architecture incorporates a hierarchical decomposition of the control system that is horizontally partitioned into five major functional subsystems: sensing, perception, world model, reasoning, and acting. The design provides for supervised autonomy as the primary mode of operation. It is intended to be an evolutionary system improving in capability over time and as it earns crew trust through reliable and safe operation. This paper gives an overview of the hardware, a focus on software, and a summary of results achieved recently from both computer simulations and air bearing floor demonstrations. Limitations of the technology used are evaluated. Plans for the next phase, during which moving targets and obstacles drive realtime behavior requirements, are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1612, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space II, (1 March 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.56775
Show Author Affiliations
Jon D. Erickson, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
R. Goode, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
K. A. Grimm, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Clifford W. Hess, NASA/Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
Robert S. Norsworthy, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co. (United States)
Greg D. Anderson, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co. (United States)
L. Merkel, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co. (United States)
Dale E. Phinney, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co. (United States)

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

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