Semi-Autonomous Teleoperation of Multiple Cooperative Robots for Human-Robot Lunar Exploration

Dongjun Lee, Mark W. Spong

We propose a semi-autonomous teleoperation framework, developed in (Lee and Spong 2005), as a means for robotic missions to establish infrastructure and preparations for the sustained presence of humans on the Moon. This semi-autonomous framework consists of the two control loops: 1) local autonomous control and interagent communication on the Moon ensure secure cooperative manipulation of objects by the multiple slave robots regardless of communication delays and human commands; and 2) a bilateral teleoperation loop enabling a remote human operator (on the Earth, in lunar orbit, or on the Moon) to tele-control the grasped object via the delayed communication channels. This architecture will be useful for tasks requiring cooperative manipulation, such as construction of human habitats, assembly of solar photovoltaic panels, and cooperative handling of excavated rocks for in-situ resource utilization, to name a few. Simulation results are presented to highlight properties and capabilities of the proposed framework.

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