Robonaut Performs Hubble Space Telescope Repair Tasks

Robonaut is a dexterous humanoid telepresence robot developed by the Robot Systems Technology Branch at the Johnson Space Center. The intent of the project is to have an "EVA astronaut equivalent" on station; it can be activated and controlled by an earth-bound operator when needed.


(From Robonaut Telepresence Robot)

The Robonaut has a variety of sensors, including thermal, positional, tactile, force and torque instrumentation, with over 150 sensors per arm. The Robonaut boasts an onboard CPU with data acquisition and power management. It has an unusual structure:

Robonaut uses a chordate approach to data management, bringing all feedback to a central nervous system, where even low-level servo control is performed. This biologically inspired neurological approach is extended to left-right computational symmetry, sensor and power duality and kinematical redundancy, enabling learning and optimization in mechanical, electrical and software forms.

The operator controls the Robonaut using a special glove and mechanical exoskeleton. As the operator moves her arm and fingers, the motion is imitated by the robot.


(From Robonaut Telepresence Robot)

In a demonstration this past April, Robonaut Unit B was able to successfully work on the HST Aft Shroud Door trainer, simulating the most difficult tasks associated with HST repair activities. Robonaut was able to remove a pin securing a door, unlatch the door, disconnect an electrical cable, inspect it for bent pins and then reconnect it. One result of this demonstration is a planned improvement in fingertip sensors to provide better grasping control.

The basic insight that allows a complex robot like Robonaut to be controlled by natural human movement was achieved by science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. In his 1942 short story Waldo he described a way that a remote gripping arm could be controlled by an operator:

Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him; all three pairs, including the secondary pair before the machine, came to life. Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.

Here is a cool video that demonstrates how the telepresence aspect of the system works. See the rest of the very detailed NASA site - Robonaut remote telefactoring robot; story from NASA's Robonaut: Bobafettish (Gizmodo).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/28/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
Sorry, you'll need to read the article.

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
Sorry, you'll need to read the article.

Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
'... the most super-valuable substance in the solar system.'

Elon Musk STILL Wants To Make Heinlein's 1940's Speedster
'As she neared the barrier the car surged and lifted...'

Mercury Capsule Ablative Shielding
'...a synthetic which air-friction would erode away.'

Heinlein And Russian Quail In Orbit
'No earth-hatched bird can learn to fly in that fashion...'

Listen Up, Coppertop - Wearable Device Turns You Into A Battery
'It's our way or the highway.'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
'the curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits...'

Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

SpinCare Electrospins And Shoots Wound Dressing
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Model S And X Moves Toward KITT Knight Rider Styling
Now, that was a Pontiac Trans Am with some real style.

Sophia Robots By The Thousands
'There is a built-in microphone that hears everything you say, and an electric brain that selects a suitable answer.'

Scaly-Foot Snail Works With Iron
'Micro-Scale suit tiles fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.