This SBIR proposal requesCts follow-on Phase 2 funding under the 2019 NASA SBIR/STTR solicitation Subtopic Z5.04 (Sensor-Fused Interactive Perception for Adaptive Space Robotics). Building upon its successful Phase I feasibility demonstration, Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation (IFOS) proposes to develop and demonstrate photonic-based Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) robot enablers to capture objects using tactile and force feedback and provide diagnostic measurements.
In Phase 1, IFOS addressed the proof-of-concept feasibility of embedding optical fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors into 3D printed sensory pads that could detect tactile, multi-axis force, and temperature inputs similar to the sensitivity of the human hand. By using a single type of sensor for multiple sensing applications, the design process for all projects is highly streamlined. In addition, optical fiber is robust and can be used to create extremely reliable yet sensitive distributed sensing systems that can be exposed to and operate in harsh and extreme environments.
In Phase 2, IFOS will demonstrate a robotic hand with embedded optical sensing. The project will develop a miniature PIC-based FBG interrogator suitable for incorporation in Gateway compatible robots, demonstrate a multiplexed gripper sensing suite for infusion into Gateway compatible robots, and perform MISSE orbital testing on ISS.
IFOS’ innovative platform will provide NASA and the commercial space community a robotic gripper providing fiber-optic sensor multiplexibility, electromagnetic and RF interference (EMI/RFI) immunity, radiation hardness, the ability to operate over large temperature ranges (76 K - 2073 K), and a high-speed sampling rate. Such a tool has application to intra- and extra-vehicular activity (IVA and EVA) tasks. Specifically, we envision FBG sensors enabling robotic caretakers on NASA’s future Gateway program to maintain the lunar base both from within and outside.
Toy Industry: Enhancement of specimens resembling the functions of people or pets.