NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X7.03-8844
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface Mobility and Transportation
PROPOSAL TITLE: A 3-D Miniature LIDAR System for Mobile Robot Navigation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics Ltd.
460 W 34th Street
New York, NY 10001 - 2320
(212) 966-0661

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Rutberg
460 W 34th Street
New York, NY 10001 - 2320
(646) 459-7830

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future lunar initiatives will demand sophisticated operation of mobile robotics platforms. In particular, lunar site operations will benefit from robots, both autonomous and tele-operated, that complement or replace human extravehicular activity (EVA). Three-dimensional sensing technology is at the heart of such functionality, enabling safe and reliable navigation in complex, dynamic environments, and serving as a valuable tool for inspection and site survey.

Honeybee Robotics therefore proposes to develop a small-envelope, high-performance scanning LIDAR (LIght Detection and Ranging) system, geared primarily towards mobile robot navigation, and secondarily to site inspection and survey. The proposed device would draw on the results of a design study conducted by Honeybee, under contract to DARPA, to develop a miniature LIDAR for a serpentine robotic platform. The baseline Honeybee 3D Miniature LIDAR (3DML) design uses an innovative scanning mechanism in conjunction with a pulse-time-of-flight optical rangefinding subsystem. The 3DML design, developed with expert input from Sensor Designs, Inc., an Oregon-based electro-optical systems consultancy, achieves a wide field of view and high resolution while maintaining an ultra-compact package size.

Phase I of this SBIR effort will focus on proof-of-concept of the opto-mechanical system through prototyping and test. Phase II will include development of a fieldable brassboard system prototype and a full path-to-flight study. Phase III will include commercialization of a 3DML unit for terrestrial research, and incorporation of 3DML into a flight program. As an experienced developer of miniature electromechanical systems for spaceflight, Honeybee is well-positioned to flight-qualify 3DML in Phase III.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Honeybee 3DML is strongly targeted towards mobile robotic platform navigation. The combination of a wide field of view and a high angular resolution make 3DML uniquely suited for this application. The long-term goal is to produce flight units for NASA lunar missions, to facilitate robotic site operations support. In addition to rover navigation, a flight 3DML could be employed as a sensor for lunar vehicle and structure inspection. With some modifications, the system could potentially attain long-range survey capability as well, resulting in an all-in-one navigation/inspection/survey sensor.
Rover missions for Mars exploration could also make use of a compact, robust 3D LIDAR system.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Honeybee anticipates considerable terrestrial demand for a compact, short-range, high-resolution 3D LIDAR system. Applications include military robotics, automotive automation, construction, and mining. In addition, research units could be marketed to roboticists in defense, industry, and academia.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Human-Robotic Interfaces
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Manned-Maneuvering Units

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50