Surface Exploration Analogue Simulations with a Crew Support Robot
In Proceedings of ASTRA 2015, (ASTRA-2015), 11.5.-13.5.2015, Noordwijk, ASTRA, 2015.
Robots are likely to play an important part as support for future human exploration missions on Mars and Moon. Robotic assistants have the potential to improve the efficiency and safety of human surface activities. The control of robots in space is non-trivial because astronauts are limited in their movements by a bulky spacesuit and missing or reduced gravity. The EU funded project Moonwalk investigates technologies for robotic crew assistance and methods for performing earth analogue simulations.
A hybrid leg/wheel system is used as the robotic platform, which is equipped with an omnidirecional camera to monitor the astronaut. The robot can be controlled
by gestures which are detected with sensors attached to the human. In this paper we present the requirements, progress and outlook on the robotic system and the supporting technologies.
Field Robotics, Analog Missions, Moon, Mars.