A Collaborative Model for Astronaut-Rover Exploration Teams

Maxime Ransan, Ella Atkins

Astronauts and robots must collaborate effectively to safely and efficiently explore harsh extraterrestrial environments. This paper describes a basic planning tool to distribute tasks among a hybrid human-astronaut team, then examines likely scenarios in which an astronaut either deviates from the plan (e.g., to opportunistically explore) or requires assistance from a rover (e.g., when in distress or when a task can benefit from a human-robot execution team). Through adjustment of the search-space branching factor, the planner is able to act in a reactive capacity to redirect activities when a task is not completed as planned or when the astronaut requires assistance. Preliminary results are presented to illustrate system performance during nominal and off-nominal operational scenarios.

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