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The Shapeshifter: A Morphing, Multi-Agent, Multi-Modal Robotic Platform for the Exploration of TitanIn this report, we present a robotic platform, the Shapeshifter, that allows multi-domain and redundant mobility on Saturn's moon Titan - and potentially other bodies with atmospheres. The Shapeshifter is a collection of simple and a affordable robotic units, called Cobots, comparable to personal palm-size quadcopters. By attaching and detaching with each other, multiple Cobots can shape-shift into novel structures, capable of (a) rolling on a at surface, to increase the traverse range, (b) flying in a flight array formation, and (c) swimming on or under liquid. A ground station, called the Home-base, complements the robotic platform, hosting science instrumentation and providing power to recharge the batteries of the Cobots. Our Phase I study had the objective of providing an initial assessment of the feasibility of the proposed robotic platform architecture, and in particular (a) to characterize the expected science return of a mission to the Sotra-Patera region on Titan; (b) to verify the mechanical and algorithmic feasibility of building a multi-agent platform capable of flying, docking, rolling and un-docking; (c) to evaluate the increased range and efficiency of rolling on Titan w.r.t to flying; (d) to define a case-study of a mission for the exploration of the cryovolcano Sotra-Patera on Titan, whose expected variety of geological features challenges conventional mobility platforms.
Document ID
20190033457
Document Type
Other
Authors
Agha-mohammadi, Ali-akbar
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Tagliabue, Andrea
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Schneider, Stephanie
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Morrell, Benjamin
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Pavone, Marco
(Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Hofgartner, Jason
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Nesnas, Issa A.D.
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Carpenter, Kalind ORCID
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Amini, Rashied B.
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Kalantari, Arash
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Babuscia, Alessandra ORCID
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bayandor, Javid
(Buffalo Univ. NY, United States)
Lunine, Jonathan
(Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
December 9, 2019
Publication Date
May 31, 2019
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Report/Patent Number
HQ-E-DAA-TN75831
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: 80NM0018D0004
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Portions of document may include copyright protected material.
Technical Review
NASA Technical Management

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