Design and Control of Intelligent Robot Manipulator for an On-Orbit Service

One important and growing area for the application of space robotics is on‐orbit servicing (OOS) of failed or failing spacecrafts. The control of the robotic arm becomes very important in respect to force control and visual guidance in order to successfully accomplish a capture operation. Therefore, the goal of this research with Ovalbay Geological Services Inc. is to design an intelligent robot manipulator that will employ optimal path‐planning and object avoidance with a visual guidance system. The end‐effecter will employ force control derived from impedance characteristics in order to ensure smooth capture of target satellites. Lastly, the intelligence encoding will be based on a Finite State Machine design that will provide a high level of creating, modifying, debugging, and monitoring, reactive autonomy engines. All of the above‐mentioned aspects will be experimentally validated on a specially constructed arm that has already begun construction.

Benoit Larouche
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Zheng Hong Zhu