NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X7.02-8186
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Human-Robotic Systems - Mobility Subsystems
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Planning and Control Toolkit for Dual Arm Manipulation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TRACLabs, Inc.
100 North East Loop 410Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 1234
(281) 461-7886

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Burridge
100 North East Loop 410 Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 1234
(404) 217-1805

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
It is often difficult to create autonomous robotic capabilities that match what can be achieved via teleoperation. Even though it is mechanically possible for a humanoid robot such as Robonaut 2 to perform complex coordinated tasks such as tying a knot, exchanging objects between end effectors, plugging in connectors, unscrewing a cap, opening a door, or grasping large objects with two hands, our lack of planning algorithms makes it difficult to control these behaviors autonomously. The lack of planning and control algorithms also impedes human-robot interaction as it is difficult for manipulation robots to plan arm trajectories in real-time using active sensing to avoid collisions with humans. This proposal is to develop a suite of planning and control algorithms that will enable NASA robots to perform complex manipulation behaviors in a coordinated way. This work would benefit NASA by making NASA robots more capable and useful during autonomous tasks, by enabling remote supervisors to command more complex tasks, and by enabling NASA robots to operate safely alongside humans during shared tasks.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This work is directly applicable to automating current NASA robots such as Dextre and Robonaut-2, both of which are currently on-board ISS. Even under teleoperation, this software could detect potential collisions and self-collisions and alert the operator. This work is also applicable to NASA ground robots such as Centaur and future exploration robots. NASA's future robotics missions are expected to rely heavily on dexterous robots. These robots will need sophisticated autonomy software in order to function, even when being supervised remotely. These robots will assist humans with tasks as well as work with no human presence to perform tasks such as assembly and terrain preparation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Department of Defense (DOD) is investing heavily in remote robotic operations including unmanned ground vehicles and is beginning to equip these vehicles with sophisticated manipulation systems. This manipulation systems are used for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), medical operations, entering and clearing buildings, moving supplies and unloading pallets. Our technology will greatly increase the usefulness of highly dexterous robots in military environments We expect substantial interest in the DOD to these kinds of technologies. We are also working with the US Army on remote medical robotics applications and have connections with Mr. Michael Beebe, who is the Medical Robotics and Unmanned Systems R&D manager for the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) of the US Army. In addition, we see applications in the urban search and rescue (USAR) arena and are coordinating with Dr. Robin Murphy of Texas A&M's Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. We are also investigating remote operation of robots on oil drilling platforms to reduce manpower and allow for continued operation in the face of storms that require evacuation of platform personnel. We are also investigating the automation of remotely operated underwater vehicles, such as those produced by Oceaneering. This application is particularly timely after the Deepwater Horizon incident. Dual arm manipulation robots are also becoming more common in industrial settings.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Command & Control
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 09-03-12 17:04