The ROBO-TETHER is a family of robots that receive power and commands from a platform. The robot is deployed by paying-out the tether which is initially rolled up on a drum, and it is retrieved by reeling it back.in. The actuator is located at the free end of the tether, and its design and functions depend on the specific application. There are many soft robots designs in the industry but in this application, an innovative crawling robot is being adopted to perform the sample manipulation functions on the surface of Venus. What makes this innovation unique is the selection of the actuator mechatronics which enables it to function and survive for long periods in the harsh environment of Venus by making use of recent technology developments in high temperature technology. As for the skeptics, this proposal also addresses new vistas in electrical power generation for long survival of electronics and equipment in the environment of Venus.The robot can recover itself from any position to ready itself and start the locomotion to an undisturbed sample selected by the platform which in turn, guides the robot to the sample by optical navigation. This availability will hopefully open-up new Venus mission options.
This innovation is focused in Phase I on actuator development, as the robot itself is controlled from the platform, and only minimal installed logic on the actuator is required for the activation of the various sub-actuators. In Phase I, an actuator system will be developed assuming that it is operated from an aerobot or a lander. The actuator functions will be demonstrated in Phase I using conventional materials and a limited number of sub-actuators. In Phase II, a full scale actuator will be assembled and tested using the results from Phase I, and algorithms will be developed to enable adaptive control to the actuator. In Phase III, a full size actuator/robot able to operate in the extreme environment of the surface of Venus will be built and tested.
Precise sample retrieval, and instrument position and deployment from landers and anchored aerobots even if they are disturbed by low-level atmospheric turbulence in a chemically aggressive atmosphere (Venus). The actuator can also be infused into the Mars, an especially in Titan and Europa programs (amphibious operating mode), and used very effectively as a tele-operator from a rover, or from a mobile balloon. Very effective in assessment of structural damage assessment, thus reducing the extravehicular activities in manned missions.
(1) Homeland Security: Remote nspection, recognition, defusing and/or retrieval of explosive devices. (2) Visualization platform to assist in the location and retrieval of human/objects in underwater rescue operations. (3) General manipulator in high-radiation level environment. (4) Safety tool in mining operations. (4) Medical: Surgical manipulation tool for remote controlled surgery.