Heterogeneous Modules with a Homogeneous Electromechanical Interface in Multi-Module Systems for Space Exploration
In 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, (ICRA-11), 09.5.-13.5.2011, Shanghai, o.A., pages 1964-1969, May/2011.
The work presented in this paper is part of the RIMRES1 project. We describe the design and development of an electromechanical interface for combining heterogeneous modules. The interface has a male and a female face and allows docking in 90-degree steps. The developed concept guarantees a secure connecting and disconnecting in rough environments with fine dust as existing on celestial bodies such as Mars and Moon. A short introduction into the project RIMRES is given with focus on the modularity of the system. After providing the design considerations for the interface, experimental results with the hardware are presented. The experiments show that the interface is capable of operating mechanically with heavy loads of up to 40 kg. The proposed latch mechanism tolerates
layers of dust of up to 2 mm. Thus, an electrical as well as mechanical connection in dusty environments is realized.