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Center Innovation Fund

Smart Habitat Robotics: Manipulation Technology to Enable Autonomous Uncrewed Habitats

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Smart Habitat Robotics: Manipulation Technology to Enable Autonomous Uncrewed Habitats

NASA is beginning the next phase of exploration with the Gateway. Operation of Gateway will be a paradigm shift from ISS operations as crew will be present only four weeks a year, and communication will be limited, while most systems must remain operational. This operational approach presents a need for numerous autonomous capabilities. This proposal aims to enable these capabilities by using a systems approach to robotic manipulation in the autonomous Gateway habitat, addressing logistics management, inspection, and utilization of internal systems while crew is not present. The team will focus on three key technologies to develop: robust end-effectors, robust robotic actuators, and minimal computation vision processing. Deliverables will include several subsystem prototypes and culminate in a complete manipulator ground demonstration unit. The development will be accomplished in collaboration with our partner, Woodside Energy. Woodside Energy is the international industry leader in research and development of robotic systems for normally uncrewed off shore oil platforms, which turn out to be very similar to infrequently crewed space vehicles. The team will leverage the agile project management approach utilized by Woodside Energy to allow quick development and adaptation throughout the project, necessary for rapid technology advancement.

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Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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