NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 Z5.01-9128
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Payload Technologies for Assistive Free-Flyers
PROPOSAL TITLE: Robotic Arm for Assistive Free-Flyers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Energid Technologies
One Mifflin Place, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 4946
(888) 547-4100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Douglas Barker
One Mifflin Place Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 4946
(888) 547-4100

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James English
One Mifflin Place, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 4946
(888) 547-4100

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Payload Technologies for Assistive Free-Flyers is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Energid Technologies proposes a lightweight kinematically redundant robot arm and software toolkit to extend the capabilities of Assistive Free-Flyers (AFFs). The arm will leverage Energid's existing design actuated with modified smart servos to reduce cost and weight and improve performance. A unique feature of the arm is universal end-of-arm-tooling interface that provides extensibility through standard mechanical, data, and power connectors. This interface will allow the arm to host a variety of sensors and tools for broad application. Energid's Actin software toolkit will be extended for control and simulation of AFFs with attached manipulators. Control techniques will be developed to enable novel modes of acrobatic maneuvering and whole-body manipulation. This control and simulation capability will apply to one or multiple arms attached to an AFF. The new control modes will enable use of the arms in perching and momentum conserving acrobatics, where the arm and thrusters are simultaneously actuated to reach a goal. The Actin simulation engine, which supports articulated dynamics, contact dynamics, and sensors, will be extended to include aerodynamics and thruster models for AFF design validation, mission planning, and testing. The new arm and toolkit will seamlessly transition between simulating terrestrial mobile robots and fielded AFFs in microgravity.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The arm Energid proposes will advance the application of AFFs by enabling them to both sense and manipulate the environment. The abilities to perch indefinitely and maneuver using the momentum of the arm will save power and extend the life of the AFF. The software toolkit, which includes both mobile articulated robot dynamics and sensors will support NASA and other researchers in exploring algorithms and missions before fielding. The value provided through these applications will lead to additional work for Energid from NASA. Energid will provide support for the application of the arm and simulation software on upcoming missions both as a prime contractor and as a supporting subcontractor.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Energid, through its Robai subsidiary, manufactures and sells the Cyton robot arms, counting over 300 units shipped to date, on which the new arm for AFFs is based. Aerial robots represent a large portion of the globally mobile robots market, which is forecasted to grow to $14.2 billion by 2019. There is currently a void in the marketplace for a high degree of freedom and inexpensive (less than $10k) arm that is light enough to be attached to small (~0.5 m footprint) UAVs and UGVs. Energid is eager to enter this market and will commercialize the new arm for aerial robots along with Actin for control and simulation of aerial manipulators. This contract will enable Energid to extend the Cyton into this new market, particularly for use with terrestrial quadcopters, and sell licenses for the control and simulation software improvements made to Actin.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Actuators & Motors
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37