Mantis Within a Multi Robot Team for Lunar Exploration and Construction Tasks
In Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 5.3.-12.3.2022, Big Sky, Montana, IEEE, pages 1-15, Mar/2022.
This paper describes key technologies for the use of the six-legged walking system Mantis in a multi robot team performing cooperative tasks for the construction of an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) facility on the Moon. Autonomous multi robot cooperation is one of several key technologies that hold promise for In-Situ space exploration and ISRU facility construction. Therefore, the PRO-ACT (Planetary RObots deployed for Assembly and Construction Tasks) project aimed to develop a multi robot team which can act (semi-) autonomous. PRO-ACT is a European project with many partners working on space robotics technologies, the so-called building blocks. These building blocks have been implemented and extended on Mantis to cover the scope of multi-robot cooperative scenarios. To allow the different partners to execute commands without considering the robot's control framework, a communication interface was developed to provide a common and generic way to send commands and receive sensor data. It facilitates access to all robots and to their simulated counterparts. Due to the impact of COVID-19, most of the testing, including the final demonstration, was performed remotely, with robots available at the partners' premises.