NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 T5.02-9829
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Algorithms for Autonomous Robotic Materials Handling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Coordinated Mobile Manipulation for Robotics Material Handling

NAME: Metrica, Inc. NAME: Carnegie Mellon University
STREET: 100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520 STREET: 5000 Forbes Avenue
CITY: San Antonio CITY: Pittsburgh
STATE/ZIP: TX  78216 - 4727 STATE/ZIP: PA  15213 - 3815
PHONE: (210) 822-2310 PHONE: (412) 268-8746

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Kortenkamp
100 N.E. Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 4727
(281) 461-7884

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Robots will play an important role in NASA's exploration activities over the next several decades. They will land on the Lunar surface ahead of humans and help prepare for human exploration. They will explore the Lunar surface, build structures and move regolith. As humans arrive these robots will shift to assisting humans in exploration activities. All of these activities require a new generation of robotic vehicles -- ones capable of flexible, dexterous manipulation -- that can work in closely coordinated teams. This work focuses on coordinating the use of mobility and manipulator degrees of freedom to achieve a common manipulation purpose. We coordinate multiple mobile manipulators so as to achieve a common goal, such as grasping or manipulating an object so that it can be transported or mated. The coordinated control architecture has four components: 1) motion planning for cooperative mechanisms; 2) task sequencing and monitoring; 3) coordinated control; and 4) operator interfaces for robot teams. The architecture will be evaluated with respect to an assembly scenario implemented both in simulation and using several mobile manipulation robots.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA is working towards establishing a Lunar outpost where astronauts will permanently reside. Before humans arrive back on the Lunar surface significant preparation can be done by robots greatly decreasing the amount of time astronauts will need to set up the outpost. While astronauts are resident robots can relieve them of the mundane maintenance and surveying tasks. NASA mission operations will need to operate these robots and will need sophisticated technology such as that offered in this proposal to reduce human labor and ensure successful operations. Specific NASA robots that could benefit from this technology include Robonaut, Centaur, K10, ATHLETE and Chariot.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Department of Defense uses many more robots in the field than does NASA. They have many of the same needs, including operating robots from a distance (although not quite as far as NASA). They also have a need for manipulation robots that can open doors, carry objects, move debris, etc. This work will be equally as applicable to them, and both Metrica and Carnegie Mellon University have existing relationships with many DOD customers. Commercial industry is beginning to find that robots can make their factories and warehouses more efficient. Construction sites have yet to employ robots because of the less structured workspace, but that can change with the appropriate technology. The PI has experience with agricultural robots as well.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Human-Robotic Interfaces
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems

Form Generated on 02-10-09 12:09