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EVA Robotic Assistant Project: Platform Attitude PredictionThe Robotic Systems Technology Branch is currently working on the development of an EVA Robotic Assistant under the sponsorship of the Surface Systems Thrust of the NASA Cross Enterprise Technology Development Program (CETDP). This will be a mobile robot that can follow a field geologist during planetary surface exploration, carry his tools and the samples that he collects, and provide video coverage of his activity. Prior experiments have shown that for such a robot to be useful it must be able to follow the geologist at walking speed over any terrain of interest. Geologically interesting terrain tends to be rough rather than smooth. The commercial mobile robot that was recently purchased as an initial testbed for the EVA Robotic Assistant Project, an ATRV Jr., is capable of faster than walking speed outside but it has no suspension. Its wheels with inflated rubber tires are attached to axles that are connected directly to the robot body. Any angular motion of the robot produced by driving over rough terrain will directly affect the pointing of the on-board stereo cameras. The resulting image motion is expected to make tracking of the geologist more difficult. This will either require the tracker to search a larger part of the image to find the target from frame to frame or to search mechanically in pan and tilt whenever the image motion is large enough to put the target outside the image in the next frame. This project consists of the design and implementation of a Kalman filter that combines the output of the angular rate sensors and linear accelerometers on the robot to estimate the motion of the robot base. The motion of the stereo camera pair mounted on the robot that results from this motion as the robot drives over rough terrain is then straightforward to compute. The estimates may then be used, for example, to command the robot s on-board pan-tilt unit to compensate for the camera motion induced by the base movement. This has been accomplished in two ways: first, a standalone head stabilizer has been implemented and second, the estimates have been used to influence the search algorithm of the stereo tracking algorithm. Studies of the image motion of a tracked object indicate that the image motion of objects is suppressed while the robot crossing rough terrain. This work expands the range of speed and surface roughness over which the robot should be able to track and follow a field geologist and accept arm gesture commands from the geologist.
Document ID
Document Type
Nickels, Kevin M.
(Trinity Univ. San Antonio, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program - 2000
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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