Special Coverage


Visualization and Introspection for Teleoperation of Robotic Systems

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The Space Exploration and Analysis Simulations (SEAS) project at JPL performs analysis of advanced mission and system concepts on behalf of NASA. One of the concepts being explored involves operation of robotic rovers on the Moon from a remote operator station located either at a Lunar Lagrange point (L2) halo orbit, or on Earth. Another concept is the use of teleoperation to inspect asteroids.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Robotic Exoskeleton (EXO)

This wearable device can assist walking for persons with paraplegia, and can be used in gait modification and rehabilitation. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas The Exoskeleton (EXO) is a device that falls into a new classification of robotics called wearable robots. On-orbit applications include countermeasures and dynamometry, allowing for continual assessment of a person’s muscle strength while aboard the International Space Station. Due to its small, compact size and relatively light weight [57 lb (≈26 kg) without batteries], EXO holds great promise as a countermeasure device for missions below low-Earth orbit.

Posted in: Briefs, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


2015 Create the Future Design Contest: Machinery/Automation/Robotics Category Winner

Compact, Long-Reach Robotic Arm William R. Doggett, John T. Dorsey, George G. Ganoe, Thomas C. Jones, and Cole K. Corbin, Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA); Bruce D. King, Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD); and Charles D. Mercer, Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (New York, NY) Langley’s Tendon-Actuated Lightweight In-Space MANipulator (TALISMAN) technology is a robotic arm with lightweight joints that provide a wide range of motion. The design provides users with a long reach and numerous degrees of freedom. The arm, ideal for use in aquatic environments or for manipulation of light terrestrial loads, consists of articulating booms connected by antagonistic cable tension elements. The arm elements are structurally efficient and lightweight, and support compact packaging.

Posted in: Articles, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Survival of the fittest - the process control imperative

In tough times, manufacturers focus on reducing their operating costs, but may not be able to afford to spend their way out by buying more productive machinery. With that pathway closed, what are the opportunities for radically reducing costs without replacing existing machines? Where can we:

Posted in: White Papers, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Researchers Test Robot's 'Light Touch'

Using an air-fluidized bed trackway filled with poppy seeds or glass spheres, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology systematically varied the stiffness of the ground to mimic a variety of surfaces, from hard-packed sand to powdery snow. By studying how running lizards, geckos, crabs, and a robot moved through the varying conditions, the researchers found ideal parameters for appendage design.

Posted in: News, Machinery & Automation, Robotics


Robots Provide 3D Map of England's Deepwater Canyons

Using a unique combination of marine robotics and ship-based measurements, the Southampton, UK-based National Oceanography Centre (NOC) produced a three-dimensional picture of submarine canyon habitats. The information captured in the new set of maps ranges in scale from the 200-km canyon down to the size of an individual cold-water coral polyp. The data will be used to inform the management of the only English Marine Conservation Zone in deep water.

Posted in: News, Robotics


3D Motor for Multi-Axis Attitude Control on SmallSats

For improved performance-to-mass ratio, a reaction sphere is a 3D motor that could replace what would conventionally require at least three separate single-axis motors. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Preliminary data was recently provided for a reaction sphere prototype on NASA’s zero-gravity parabolic flight vehicle. Gyroscope telemetry indicates that reaction spheres were successfully commanded at 10- to 20-ms pulses during a handful of parabolas in each flight. This is the first publicly disclosed validation of a freely rotating reaction sphere in a standalone compact package. At dimensions of

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Machinery & Automation, Robotics