Mantis Within a Multi Robot Team for Lunar Exploration and Construction Tasks
Wiebke Brinkmann, Leon Cedric Danter, Tobias Stark, Alexander Dettmann, Matteo De Benedetti, Shashank Govindaraj, Irene Sans Nieto, Alexandru But, Francisco Javier Colmenero, Enrique Heredia, Marcedes Alonso
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.