Previously, ESMD Advanced Concepts funded the development of HABBOT, based on the ATHLETE mobilty platform. Each limb of ATHLETE has 6 degrees-of-freedom, so that the wheels can be locked and used as feet, placed in any position and orientation for generalized walking. But because these limbs have 6 DOFs, they can equally well be used for manipulation. Indeed, the limbs have been designed so that a tool adapter can be retrofitted onto the yoke that holds each wheel.
This effort will leverage the ATHLETE system to develop a "holster" of tools that mate with its tool adapter, including grippers/pliers/wrenches, and drills. JPL will develop the software to allow these tools to be accurately placed at designated locations on workpieces, and will demonstrate the ability to automatically position and orient tools onto workpieces based on a convenient user command such as designation of the desired location using a cursor in a 3-D display. JPL will demonstrate and validate the capability to assemble multiple objects, implement repair functions, assist in docking procedures, service and replace a damaged component, and construct a simple structure autonomously or with minimum teleoperation support with up to 1 minute time delay. The capability to complement or assist a human operator will also be demonstrated.
Jaret Matthews - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Exploration Systems Research and Technology