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Project 5: Multimodal Space Robotics Teleoperation for Uncertainty Robustness in Human-Robot and Robot-Environment Variations

People involved:

Dr. ir. Andre Schiele
Project function:
Organisation: TU Delft / ESA René van Paassen
Project function:
Organisation: Aerospace Engineering / Delft University of Technology

M.Sc. Jan Smíšek
Project function:
Organisation: Aerospace Engineering / Delft University of Technology

MSc. Stefan Kimmer
Project function: PhD Candidate, 5.3
Organisation: ESA / TUDelft

Project Goal

Project 5 focuses on the application of haptic support in the space domain. The project is linked to ESA's Meteron project, which proposes the tele-operation of robots from space. The master device used in this project is a 7 degree-of-freedom exoskeleton; enabling unconstrained motion of the operator in a weightless environment, while controlling the robot. The first three sub-projects address fundamental challenges in space-bound teleoperation, while the last sub-project focuses on the specifics of exoskeleton manipulators for the space environment.
Project 5.1
In this project, the closed-loop dynamics of the coupling between a human operator, through the wearable exoskeleton with the robotic device. The effect of parameter uncertainty will be included in the developed dynamic interaction models. Closed-loop dynamic interaction models will allow the in-depth study of the effects of human and robot joint misalignments, of the effects of uncertainties in kinematic and dynamic parameters of the human limb on simulation quality and the effects of external loads (or absence thereof, e.g. under reduced gravity) on the human operator
Project 5.2
In this project a gradual and natural transition between automated operation and direct haptic control is investigated, to achieve a situation of shared haptic control. In shared control, local automation at the location of the robotic device can cooperate with the operator of the device. For example the robotic device can limit its movement to avoid hitting fragile objects. In shared haptic control, the operator is aware of these actions through the haptic interface. Additional forces, possibly combined with changes in stiffness or damping of the haptic manipulator, inform the operator of the actions and intentions of the automated assistants. 
Project 5.3
This project focuses on onvercoming the long time-delays associated with long distance teleoperations. It uses the shared control concepts of project 5.2, and combines this with predictive control to operate in conditions with delays ranging from 500 ms to over several seconds.
Project 5.4
This project focuses on the design of a zero-G exoskeletion master device for use in the International Space Station. This project has a supporting role, and will deliver the final master device used in the other projects.
Involved companies