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Sensor-based space robotics-ROTEX and its telerobotic features

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4 Author(s)
Hirzinger, G. ; Inst. for Robotics & Syst. Dynamics, German Aerosp. Res. Establ., Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany ; Brunner, B. ; Dietrich, J. ; Heindl, J.

In early 1993 the space robot technology experiment ROTEX was flown with space-shuttle Columbia. A multisensory robot onboard the spacecraft successfully worked in autonomous modes, teleoperated by astronauts, as well as in different telerobotic ground control modes. These included online teleoperational and telesensor-programming: a task-level oriented programming technique involving learning-by-showing concepts in a virtual environment. The robot's key features were its multisensory gripper and the local sensory feedback schemes that are the basis for shared autonomy. The corresponding man-machine interface concepts, which use a six-degree-of-freedom non-force-reflecting control ball and visual feedback to the human operator, are explained. Stereographic simulation on the ground was used to predict not only the robot's free motion but even the sensor-based path refinement onboard. Prototype tasks performed by this space robot were the assembly of a truss structure, connecting/disconnecting an electrical plug (orbit replaceable unit exchange), and grasping free-floating objects

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Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 5 )