NASA STTR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-T5.02-9935 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 030065)
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Robotics and Virtual Digital Human Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Model-Based Torque Control of Piezoelectric Ultrasonic Motors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: TIETRONIX SOFTWARE, INC. NAME:University of Houston, Clear Lake
ADDRESS:1331 Gemini Ave. Suite 300 ADDRESS:2700 Bay Area Boulevard
CITY:Houston CITY:Houston
STATE/ZIP:TX  77058-2794 STATE/ZIP:TX  77058-1098
PHONE: (281) 461-9300 PHONE: (281) 283-3015

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
James   Dabney
Dabney@cl.uh.edu
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Piezoelectric ultrasonic motors (PUMs) are ideal actuators for a variety of spaced-based robotics applications. These motors replace conventional drive systems consisting of motor, gear train, and brake with a rugged and reliable actuator containing one moving part. It is not currently feasible to fully exploit the capabilities of PUMs due to the lack of model-based torque control systems. This research will eliminate the barrier to PUM adoption and lead to model-based torque control algorithms and driver hardware. The key result of the Phase I STTR will be demonstration of the feasibility of model-based torque control of PUMs using a passive inertial load. This result will provide assurance that the overall project result, development of model-based torque control hardware and software, is both feasible and attainable. This result will be achieved via the development of a mathematical model relating motor input parameters and speed to output torque and experimental validation of the model. This Phase I STTR will also produce a design for an enhanced laboratory apparatus incorporating an active load, thus permitting detailed modeling of the space-based robot actuation environment.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
PUMs are ideal actuators for a large variety of spaced-based robotics applications. Due to light weight and simplicity, PUMs are perfect actuators for end effector elements such as fingers, wrists, and tool operation. PUMs are also ideal for miniature robots due to small size, light weight, and a natural potential for redundant actuation. PUMS are also ideal for haptic interfaces due to rapid response, low inertia, and absence of backlash. PUM actuation can significantly reduce the size and power requirements of the Dynamic Optical Filtrating System (DOFS) developed by Tietronix for NASA/JSC. All of these applications require model-based torque control.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
PUMs are ideal actuators for any application requiring light weight, simplicity, and reliability. With model-based torque control, PUMs can offer major improvements to surgical robots due to freedom from backlash. Similarly, PUMs will improve haptic interfaces for surgical robots and robots built for hazardous environments such as subsea, rescue, explosive removal, and toxic environments. PUMs are presently used in machine tools; availability of torque control will increase PUM utility. With model-based torque control, PUMs also offer major improvements to special-purpose mechatronics devices such as semiconductor wafer processing machines and circuit assembly machines