NASA SBIR 2022-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
22-2- Z5.04-2604
Phase 1 Contract #:
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
4730 Walnut St. Ste. 106, CO 80301 - 2520
(713) 775-7621                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Lynn Regnier
4730 Walnut St. Ste. 106, CO 80301 - 2520
(413) 841-9404                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 4
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

Despite continued 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 flexible software-based solution that enables operators to 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 inspected or manipulated. For example, given a depth image of a scene, the system will recognize a hatch door handle and its hinge and annotate the scene to automatically inform the user how a robot could open the hatch. The user can then confirm the desired action to have a robot open the hatch door autonomously. The proposed work will result in a software tool that enables the training of perception pipelines using domain randomization. The perception capabilities will be demonstrated in inspection and manipulation tasks that are relevant to IVR scenarios such as inspection of hatch seals, and manipulation of buttons, switches, and handrails. Experiments will be performed in simulation and on hardware using a UR5e and the Astrobee platform.

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

The initial focus is on enabling higher levels of autonomy for IVA such as inspection, cargo unloading and science experiment tending. The technology may also be applicable to EVA and ISAM-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:     18

Form Generated on 04/11/2023 10:25:54