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Human-Robotic Cooperative Teams for Advanced Space Operations David L. Akin

Summary: 1
Human-Robotic Cooperative Teams for Advanced Space Operations
David L. Akin
Flight and research experience to date indicates that teams of robots and humans will
provide significantly greater productivity and capabilities than either system working
alone. This paper details research developments in the University of Maryland Space
Systems Laboratory on three different approaches to human/robotic interaction in the
space environment. In each of these, the human performing EVA is brought into closer
interaction with the robotic system, with the ultimate conceptual goal being a symbiotic
relationship between the human and the robot. In the first, a robotic actuator was
integrated into a space suit glove, enabling hitherto unavailable dexterity without a
penalty in crew fatigue. This "power glove" project paves the way for advanced robotic
suit augmentation, including fully powered suits. In the second, advanced dexterous robot
manipulators were integrated into the shuttle manipulator foot restraints, providing direct
robotic capabilities for worksite preparation and closeout, and assisting the EVA crew
during human operations. Results indicate productivity enhancements ranging from 60%
to 400%, depending on the details of the tasks performed. In the last, a single-person
spacecraft was designed for space operations, incorporating both robotic manipulators
and space suit arms. The system is capable of zero-prebreathe EVA and extended mission


Source: Akin, David - Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park


Collections: Engineering