NASA SBIR 2022-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
22-1- Z5.04-2604
Subtopic Title:
Intravehicular Robot (IVR) Technologies
Proposal Title:
An Affordance Driven, Human-in-the-Loop Perception Framework

Small Business Concern

PickNik Inc
4730 Walnut Street Suite. 106, Boulder, CO 80301
(720) 513-2221                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Mark Moll
1942 Broadway Ste 222, CO 80302 - 5213
(713) 775-7621                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Lynn Regnier
1942 Broadway, Suite 222, CO 80302 - 5213
(413) 841-9404                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):


Despite all the advances in robotics, it has been difficult to deploy robots for non-trivial tasks in unstructured environments in a fully autonomous way. As a result, for such tasks there is often a human in the loop to create supervised autonomy. We are proposing to develop a software framework that enables operators to more easily command robots by leveraging more computer vision. The key innovation of this proposal is to connect a perception pipeline that recognizes instances of known classes of objects with affordances: a description of how an object should be manipulated. For example, given a depth image of a scene, the system will recognize door handles and hinges and annotate the scene to automatically inform the user how a robot could open the corresponding doors. Our work combines automatic recognition of affordances with a user interface (UI) that enables an operator to fine tune affordances if needed. The operator feedback will be used to retrain the system to further improve system performance and decrease the amount of operator input required. This is expected to reduce the cognitive load on robot operators by allowing them to focus on high level tasks including appropriate actions on objects that are relevant to a given task.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

The initial focus is on enabling higher levels of autonomy for IVA such as cargo unloading and science experiment tending. The technology may also be applicable to EVA and OSAM-related robotic activities. In the long run, we also envision applications in, e.g., construction and assembly on the moon and other planets.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

The same applications that are of interest to NASA are also of interest to the rapidly expanding commercial space industry. Terrestrial applications that are enabled by the proposed work include inspection and maintenance of industrial sites and offshore platforms.

Duration:     6

Form Generated on 05/25/2022 15:39:58