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Proceedings Paper

Providing robotic assistance during extra-vehicular activity
Author(s): Robert Burridge; Jeffrey Graham
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Paper Abstract

Manned missions to other planetary bodies will rely heavily on robotics and automation to enhance the operational safety and capabilities of the crew. In particular, the movement and sensing capabilities of humans in spacesuits are severely constrained. Thus, an important class of robot will be those that accompany humans during extra-vehicular activity (EVA) and provide assistance -- tool transport, video documentation, sample collection, etc. In 1999, NASA engaged in a set of field tests in California called ASRO (AStronaut-ROver), in which a space-suited test subject collaborated with the tele-operated Marsokhod mobile robot, controlled by scientist at a remote location. From the lessons learned in the ASRO tests, the EVA Robotic Assistant project was started at NASA's Johnson Space Center to provide a testbed for continued research in astronaut-robot interaction and cooperation. In September 2000, NASA conducted two weeks of field tests in Arizona at three planetary surface analog sites. Three scenarios were tested requiring cooperation between a space-suited astronaut and the autonomous EVA Robotic Assistant: Power Cable Deployment, Solar Panel Deployment, and Geologist's Assistant. In this paper, we describe the ERA project in detail, and report on results from the Arizona field tests.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4573, Mobile Robots XVI, (18 February 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.457451
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Burridge, S&K Electronics (United States)
Jeffrey Graham, Titan-Lincom Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4573:
Mobile Robots XVI
Douglas W. Gage; Howie M. Choset, Editor(s)

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