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Proceedings Paper

Remotely Manipulated And Autonomous Robotic Welding Fabrication In Space
Author(s): John E. Agapakis; Koichi Masubuchi
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Paper Abstract

The results of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sponsored study, performed in order to establish the feasibility of remotely manipulated or unmanned welding fabrication systems for space construction, are first presented in this paper. Possible space welding fabrication tasks and operational modes are classified and the capabilities and limitations of human operators and machines are outlined. The human performance in remote welding tasks is experimentally tested under the sensing and actuation constraints imposed by remote manipulation in outer space environments. Proposals for the development of space welding technology are made and necessary future research and development (R&D) efforts are identified. The development of improved visual sensing strategies and computer encoding of the human welding engineering expertise are identified as essential, both for human operator assistance and for autonomous operation in all phases of welding fabrication. Results of a related follow-up study are then briefly presented. Novel uses of machine vision for the determination of the weld joint and bead geometry are proposed and implemented, and a first prototype of a rule-based expert system is developed for the interpretation of the visually detected weld features and defects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 December 1985
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 0580, Space Station Automation I, (23 December 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.950856
Show Author Affiliations
John E. Agapakis, Automatix Inc. (United States)
Koichi Masubuchi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0580:
Space Station Automation I
Wun C. Chiou Sr., Editor(s)

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