NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
A Basic Robotic Excavator (the Glenn Digger): Description, Design, and Initial OperationThis paper describes the design, commercial part selections, fabrication, assembly, installation, and initial operation of a two degree of freedom robotic excavator. Colloquially referred to as "the NASA Glenn Digger," it was designed specifically to be mounted onto, and to operate with, the then newly developed Centaur 2 robotic mobility base. The excavator, when mounted to Centaur 2, is designed to scoop loose regolith from the terrain, raise its loaded bucket up and dump the load into a hopper of at least a 1-m-height. The hopper represents the input to a machine that would process the raw material, such as to produce oxygen from lunar regolith as would be required for long-term lunar habitation. This equipment debuted at the annual Research and Technology Studies ("Desert RATS", Ref. 1) event held north of Flagstaff, Arizona, in September of 2010, when the Digger was successfully joined to Centaur 2 and the shoveling articulation was demonstrated. During 2011, the hardware was modified for added strength, strain gauges were added to measure loads, and the controls were improved in preparation for the 2011 Desert RATS event, where additional "field operations" experience was gained.
Document ID
20160004045
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
Bauman, Steve (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Newman, Paul (Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Izadnegahdar, Alain (Science Applications International Corp. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Johnson, Kyle (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Abel, Phillip (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
March 29, 2016
Publication Date
March 1, 2016
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
GRC-E-DAA-TN25218
E-19197
NASA/TM-2016-218961
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNC12BA01B
WBS: WBS 647280.04.03.20
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.
Keywords
backhoe
ISRU (in-situ resource utilization)
robotics
digging
desert rats
lunar
digger
centaur
excavator

Available Downloads

NameType 20160004045.pdf STI