TELEROBOTIC RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING VISION SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

Period of Performance: 01/01/1989 - 12/31/1989

$500K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Triangle Research and Development Corporation
PO Box 12696
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE ROBOTIC VISION REQUIRED FOR TELEROBOTIC CAPTURE AND MANIPULATION TASKS IS A CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY FOR SPACE SHUTTLE/SPACE STATION OPERATIONS. TELEOPERATIONS PERFORMED BY ASTRONAUTS REQUIRE COMPLEX SUPPORTING SUBSYSTEMS AND ARE TIME CONSUMING. THE SPACE STATION ASSEMBLY PROCESS CREATES REQUIREMENTS FOR MANY TELEROBOTIC TASKS. AMONG THESE ARE SPACE TRUSS ASSEMBLY, ASSEMBLY OF UTILITY BUS STRUCTURES, AND REMOTE INSPECTION. BEYOND SPACE STATION APPLICATIONS ARE A RANGE OF SATELLITE MAINTENANCE TASKS. A NEW, SIMPLIFIED ARCHITECTURE FOR ORBITAL TARGET OBJECT RANGE AND ORIENTATION DETERMINATION IS PROPOSED. THE ARCHITECTURE EMPLOYS EXISTING NASA COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN (CAD) SOFTWARE BASED MODELS TO PROVIDE PARAMETRIC REPRESENTATIONS OF TARGET OBJECTS. IMAGE PROCESSING ALGORITHMS OPTIMIZED FOR THE PARAMETRIC REPRESENTATIONS ARE USED TO CALCULATE OBJECT RANGE AND ORIENTATION FROM PASSIVE LABELS AND INFORMATION MARKING SETS -- SUPPLYING REAL-TIME OBJECT STATUS UPDATES TOA 6-AXIS PUMA 560 ROBOT. PROJECT OBJECTIVES ARE TO ESTABLISH THE BEST LABEL/MARKINGS COMBINATIONS AND TO DEMONSTRATE REAL-TIME ROBOTIC TRACKING AND INTERCEPT OF A PROPERLY MARKED OBJECT. SYSTEM COMPONENTS WILL BE DEVELOPED AND TESTED IN THE TRDC ELECTRO-OPTICS LABORATORY. THE COMPLETE SYSTEM WILL BE INTEGRATED, DEMONSTRATED, AND DOCUMENTED VIA VIDEOTAPE USING THE PUMA 560 IN THE N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY ROBOTICS AND INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS LABORATORY.