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Record Details

Record 1 of 17795
Autonomous Vision-Based Tethered-Assisted Rover Docking
External Online Source: hdl:2014/44317
Author and Affiliation:
Tsai, Dorian(Aalto Univ, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto, Finland)
Nesnas, Issa A.D.(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States)
Zarzhitsky, Dimitri(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States)
Abstract: Many intriguing science discoveries on planetary surfaces, such as the seasonal flows on crater walls and skylight entrances to lava tubes, are at sites that are currently inaccessible to state-of-the-art rovers. The in situ exploration of such sites is likely to require a tethered platform both for mechanical support and for providing power and communication. Mother/daughter architectures have been investigated where a mother deploys a tethered daughter into extreme terrains. Deploying and retracting a tethered daughter requires undocking and re-docking of the daughter to the mother, with the latter being the challenging part. In this paper, we describe a vision-based tether-assisted algorithm for the autonomous re-docking of a daughter to its mother following an extreme terrain excursion. The algorithm uses fiducials mounted on the mother to improve the reliability and accuracy of estimating the pose of the mother relative to the daughter. The tether that is anchored by the mother helps the docking process and increases the system's tolerance to pose uncertainties by mechanically aligning the mating parts in the final docking phase. A preliminary version of the algorithm was developed and field-tested on the Axel rover in the JPL Mars Yard. The algorithm achieved an 80% success rate in 40 experiments in both firm and loose soils and starting from up to 6 m away at up to 40 deg radial angle and 20 deg relative heading. The algorithm does not rely on an initial estimate of the relative pose. The preliminary results are promising and help retire the risk associated with the autonomous docking process enabling consideration in future martian and lunar missions.
Publication Date: Nov 03, 2013
Document ID:
20150007835
(Acquired May 12, 2015)
Subject Category: CYBERNETICS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND ROBOTICS
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems; 3-8 Nov. 2013; Tokyo; Japan
Meeting Sponsor: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; New York, NY, United States
Financial Sponsor: Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech.; Pasadena, CA, United States
Description: 8p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
NASA Terms: AUTONOMOUS DOCKING; SPACECRAFT DOCKING; ROVING VEHICLES; COMPUTER VISION; TERRAIN; RELIABILITY; DEPLOYMENT; ALGORITHMS
Other Descriptors: NEWTON CRATER; VISION-BASED DOCKING; AXEL DOCKING; EXTREME TERRAIN ROVERS
Availability Source: Other Sources
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