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Penn State Mars Society RASC-AL 2003 Integrated Astronaut Control System for EVA Problem Statement Future of space exploration: manned missions to Mars Exploration issues Long time delay from Earth EVAs far from home base These issues never previously encountered fully

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Integrated Astronaut Control System for EVA

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Presentation Transcript
problem statement
Problem Statement
  • Future of space exploration: manned missions to Mars
  • Exploration issues
    • Long time delay from Earth
    • EVAs far from home base
  • These issues never previously encountered fully
exploration applications
Exploration Applications
  • Soil and rock samples
  • Surveying the Martian terrain
  • Scientific observation
  • Bulkiness makes mobility difficult
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Gloves
    • Hand fatigue
    • Difficult to grasp objects
  • Solution: Rover accompanies astronaut
rover assisted exploration
Rover Assisted Exploration
  • Rovers: tried and true Martian explorers
  • Useful toolkit for astronauts on EVAs
  • On-site rover control by astronauts
  • Variety of rover control systems
    • Joystick
    • Trackball
    • VR glove
rover control
Rover Control
  • Past: Control from Earth
    • Supercomputers
    • Delay due to transmission over large distance
    • Joystick control
  • Future: On-site control by astronaut
    • Joystick and trackball not practical
    • VR Glove
design requirements
Design Requirements
  • Fine-tuned control
  • No overlap between commands
  • Efficient response to commands
  • Simplicity and ease of training
  • Transmission efficiency (range and power)
  • Multitasking
virtual reality gloves
Virtual Reality Gloves
  • Simulates the environment for practical purposes
    • Flight training
    • Education
  • Capabilities
    • Six degrees of freedom
    • Many more states than conventional controllers
    • Feedback Data
integration into the spacesuit
Integration into the Spacesuit
  • Characteristics:
    • Mobility & Flexibility
    • Robust Function
    • Simple & Reliable
  • VR Glove is small
    • Lightweight
    • Thin fibers
  • Best Place to Install:
    • Max. sensitivity to hand motions
    • Between first and second layers
our solution
Our Solution
  • 5DT Data Glove
  • ActivMedia Pioneer 2-AT rover
  • SmileCam camera
  • Steering and camera control by VR glove
gesture control system
Gesture Control System
  • Data Input and Filtering
  • Gesture Recognition
  • State Selection
  • Device-Specific Output
data input and filtering
Data Input and Filtering
  • Independent Input and Filter per hand
  • Raw glove data calibrated to user's range of motion
  • Exponential filter to smooth noisy data
    • Muscle Twinges
    • Cardiovascular pulses
gesture recognition
Gesture Recognition
  • Hand sensor readings
    • 7.2e16 possible combinations!
    • Effect of finger dependencies with imprecise control: Not this many are realistic
  • Continuous Control: Mealy Model
  • Discrete Control: Moore Model
  • Hybrid Control
state selection
State Selection
  • Each hand operates independently
  • Certain states locked out to other hand
  • Root state allows external operation
device specific output
Device-Specific Output
  • Translates gesture state into reasonable device output
  • Models exist for pan/tilt cameras, motion bases, and external microcontrollers
player stage
  • Player: Robot device server
    • Abstracts device specifics from control class
    • Designed for networked operation from any language that supports TCP/IP
  • Stage: Simulator for Player controllers
    • Provides simulated environment for controller development
    • Utilizes same binary interface as Player
rover navigation
Rover Navigation
  • Uses Player's PositionDevice class
  • Translates glove finger position and roll into rotational and translational velocities
target selection
Target Selection
  • Translates glove gestures to control PanTilt device class
  • Manages selection of interesting targets

Obstacle Course requires:

1. Figure Eight

2. Arcing Turn

3. Reverse

4. Slalom

Three Input Devices:




course results
Course Results
  • User B has more training than User A
  • Joystick is the fastest method
  • Trackball is significantly slower
results analysis
Results Analysis
  • Results analyzed in the context of remote operations
  • Joystick is faster, but the glove has other advantages
future developments
Future Developments
  • Touch Sensors
  • Force Feedback
  • More useful user feedback
    • Menuing
    • Sounds
    • Force Feedback
  • Autonomy in Tracking and Navigation