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Modules and Software for Free-Flying Robots, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Energid Technologies will develop actuator and gripper modules with control and simulation software for building mechanisms to attach to free-flying robots. The technology leverages Energid's existing hardware and software to reduce weight and improve performance. The approach enables novel modes of maneuvering, controlling, and sensing. The module infrastructure includes simulated sensors that enable precise control of mechanisms built with the modules to serve to support a variety of other applications. Multiple articulated mechanisms may be attached to one free-flying robot and cooperatively operated, for example. To control the arms and base, Energid's Actin software toolkit will be extended and applied to enable use of articulated mechanisms in perching and acrobatic modes, with one end-effector fixed in perching mode and momentum conservation integral to the control during acrobatic mode. Included will be powerful simulation software that, by leveraging Energid's commercial Actin software, will be cross platform, fast, and feature rich. The simulation, modeling many aspects of the free-flying robot, will support design validation efforts as well as mission planning and testing. It will seamlessly transition between simulating terrestrial test beds and fielded free-flying robots in a microgravity environment. The simulation will include articulated dynamics, contact dynamics, sensors, and the aerodynamics of any mechanism built with the modules. More »

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