NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-2 H6.01-8753
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Human Robotic Systems - Mobility Subsystem, Manipulation Subsystem, and Human System Interaction
PROPOSAL TITLE: Real-Time Integrated Navigation System for Planetary Exploration (RT-INSPEX)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
American GNC Corporation
888 Easy Street
Simi Valley, CA 93065 - 1812
(805) 582-0582

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen Oonk
888 Easy Street
Simi Valley, CA 93065 - 1812
(805) 582-0582 Extension :108

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Emily Melgarejo
888 Easy Street
Simi Valley, CA 93065 - 1812
(805) 582-0582 Extension :102

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Human Robotic Systems - Mobility Subsystem, Manipulation Subsystem, and Human System Interaction 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)
For supporting NASA's efforts in enhancing robotic autonomy and off-loading work from operators and astronauts, American GNC Corporation has developed the "Real-Time Integrated Navigation System for Planetary Exploration" (RT-INSPEX) to provide autonomous navigation with GNSS-free localization, terrain awareness and traversability estimation, and local/global mapping of unknown environments. Key current capabilities are: (a) advanced image processing for visual odometry based on stereo processing and an innovative routine of feature detection, tracking, and pruning for highly accurate robot motion and position estimation; (b) improved localization by vision and inertial system fusion; (c) simultaneous online local and global mapping; and (d) vision and touch based terrain traversability estimation using a combination of environment classification, ground plane detection, and ground interface analysis. During Phase II, the system will be customized for operating in indoor and outdoor environments and for any robotic vehicle type with the goal of increased autonomy by providing a complete GNSS-free awareness of location, an understanding of surrounding environments, and the ability to navigate autonomously. Areas of work in Phase II include: (1) customization to NASA's robotic platforms such as Robonaut; (2) accurate localization over multiple kilometer distances without GNSS; (3) complete integrated touch and vision based traversability system; (4) holistic scene and indoor/outdoor environment understanding; (5) consistent global map generation with included traversability information; (6) optimal route planning with obstacle avoidance for autonomous navigation; (7) robustness to diverse or adverse conditions in indoor or planetary environments; and (8) verification & validation, embedded development, and implementation in robotic vehicles. The final system can be applied to a variety of systems for NASA, the military, and in the commercial sector.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The RT-INSPEX will directly support NASA�s future missions ranging from the exploration of remote planetary surfaces (assuming very limited and time-delayed Earth-based communication) to assistive operations in man-made structures such as the International Space Station (ISS). The pervasive use of intelligent robotics with accurate navigation capabilities will enhance exploration and facilitate mapping of uncharted regions. This particularly benefits planetary exploration mobile robotic platforms such as the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Mars Rovers. Another application would be the �K10� series from the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group. However, the very flexible and modular nature of the system and software lends itself to operation in indoor environments as well such as the case with the Robonaut 2 at the ISS. For instance, the RT-INSPEX can be used to help obtain an autonomous understanding of the Robonaut's surroundings such as identifying important objects that should be avoided or interacted with, and to facilitate navigation along corridors without relying on any type of external guidance.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
One of the main objectives of this SBIR is the commercialization of the research results. The RT-INSPEX is a highly useful system for GNSS-free robotic navigation and environment understanding and therefore presents significant application potential for a wide range of non-NASA systems within both the civilian and military sectors. The technology is closely aligned with developments related to self-driving vehicles, where the ability to classify terrain, objects, etc. is very important for collision avoidance and navigation along roads. The capability of localization without GNSS using vision can be used to know one's position in consumer applications when GPS is not available or intermittent. Further areas the technology would find application in include: (1) commercially available and military based personnel tracking devices; (2) GPS-free navigation for both manned and unmanned ground, air, and sea vehicles; (3) military missions involving unmanned platforms; (4) accurate floor plan mapping of GPS-denied indoor environments that pose a risk for human intervention; (5) robotic surveillance applications; (6) aiding search and rescue missions; and (7) local law enforcement agencies for detecting the locations of harmful objects.

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.)
3D Imaging
Image Analysis
Image Processing
Inertial (see also Sensors)
Navigation & Guidance
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 03-10-16 12:21