Automatic Robot Supervision within a Lunar Crater Environment
In Proceedings for the Joint Conference of ISR 2010 (41st Internationel Symposium on Robotics) and ROBOTIK 2010 (6th German Conference on Robotics), (ISR-2010), 07.6.-09.6.2010, Munich, VDE Verlag GmbH, pages 157-164, Jun/2010. ISBN: 978-3-8007-3273-9.
The scientific interest in lunar craters, especially in craters in polar regions, is increasing. The interior of lunar polar craters is permanently shadowed, due to the steep slopes and the flat angle of incidence of sunlight. Within these craters there is an increased chance to discover ice, which could be gathered by exploration robots. The robots have to cope with different adversities such as overcoming steep slopes and dealing with very bright light conditions outside the crater as well as complete darkness inside. To test those abilities, the Space-TestBed (STB) was built in the context of the LUNARES project1 , in which a six-wheeled rover and an eight-legged walking robot are used to explore the artificial crater environment cooperatively (figure 1 and 2). The STB is equipped with a wide range of supervision tools to acquire experiment data for evaluations of the tested systems and to enable the operators to control the robots. The presented paper describes an approach to control the tools mentioned below automatically. This supports the operators in order to concentrate on the mission progress and on the robot control. The automatic supervision system consists of:
· a gantry crane with an observation camera and a tracking camera attached,
· a Motion Tracking System (MTS),
· and two Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras (PTZ).