NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.09-8507
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Planetary Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Grasp Algorithms For Optotactile Robotic Sample Acquisition

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 - 1639
(734) 668-2567

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Katherine Jordan
727 Airport Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 - 1639
(734) 668-2567

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Robotic sample acquisition is basically grasping. Multi-finger robot sample grasping devices are controlled to securely pick up samples. While optimal grasps for perfectly modeled objects are known, grasping unmodeled objects, like a surface sample, is an open research problem. A major source of difficulty in robotic grasping, therefore, is the sensing of object parameters and grasp quality. Humans combine the high information content of vision, several types of haptic/tactile sensors in the fingers, and a sophisticated learning process to grasp unknown objects. In comparison, current robotic graspers rely on a much more limited set of sensors, particularly for measuring tactile properties.

We propose to develop an algorithm for robust robotic grasping of samples using measurements of object stiffness, incipient slip, and the shape of the contact area between grasper and sample. All three measurements will be performed through a novel robotic grasper containing multiple cameras embedded within its soft silicone "flesh". The proposed control algorithm will use these three measurements to improve a grasp by adjusting both contact point locations and grasp forces.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed technology will be directly applicable to planetary surface sample acquisition robotics.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
-Robust grasping algorithms useful in unmodeled environments and situations
-Novel vision based tactile sensing, able to extract numerous grasp properties (force, contact position, slip, external object localization) from a single sensor.

Commercial applications:
-Robust grasping algorithms for industrial manipulation
-Algorithms successful at handling fragile materials
Algorithms useful for unstructured environments, such as assistive robotics in the home

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.


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56