Manipulation and Control
Editors: Yang Gao
In Contemporary Planetary Robotics: An Approach Toward Autonomous Systems, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, chapter 5, pages 255-319, Aug/2016. ISBN: 978-3-527-41325-6.
The use of robotic systems for planetary exploration has been successfully shown
in recent years with outstanding examples such as the Mars rovers Opportunity,
Spirit, and Curiosity. While the first phase of planetary exploration tends to deal
with 'passive' in situ exploration of unknown areas by using cameras, measuring
values of the atmosphere by using onboard instruments, and so on, the relevant
scientific experiments can be performed as soon as samples (such as soil or rocks)
can be analyzed either by bringing them back to Earth or by analyzing them in
situ. In either case, the rover is required to have the ability to gather samples,
drill into the rocks, or bring the samples to the rover's onboard scientific instruments
in order to get them analyzed; hence, robotic manipulation is an importance
functionality in these missions. In case of advanced missions such as to establish
extraterrestrial outposts on the Moon, the robots need to be equipped with one or
several manipulators to be able to grasp, transport, and assemble infrastructure.
This Chapter starts reviewing current and existing robotic manipulation systems for
planetary exploration. Further, the Chapter discusses relevant design requirements,
specifications, and procedures, describes underlining technologies such
as dynamical and motion control of robotic arms, and presents various future
needs and directions in this area.