NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 Z5.01-9621
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Payload Technologies for Free-Flying Robots
PROPOSAL TITLE: Universal Docking Interface for Free-Flying Robots

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Honeybee Robotics, Ltd.
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(212) 966-0661

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Herman
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(646) 459-7819

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Herman
63 Flushing Avenue Unit 150
Brooklyn, NY 11205 - 1070
(646) 459-7819

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Payload Technologies for Free-Flying Robots 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)
Currently, no universal electromechanical engagement interface exists for free-flying robots, limiting their ability to dock, perch, recharge, change tools, manipulate payloads, and assemble in modular structures for intravehicular, extravehicular, and planetary surface operations. Honeybee Robotics (Honeybee) proposes to develop a Universal Docking Interface (UDI) that provides a common electromechanical connection architecture for free-flying robots. The UDI will enhance capabilities to mount and manipulate tools, sensors, payloads; dock for power and data transfer; perch for short- or long-term storage; and create new modular structures for intravehicular, extravehicular, and surface tasks in support of commercial operations and human spaceflight. The UDI will be based on Honeybee's existing solutions for robotic satellite servicing and planetary rover recharge , modified to meet NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Human Exploration Telerobotics requirements. This reliable plug-and-play docking and manipulation interface will provide an electromechanical quick-connect/disconnect for tools, sensors, and other payloads, as well as enabling truly modular assembly in microgravity. The proposed Phase 1 effort will perform a detailed investigation of tool change, sensor payload interface, manipulation and docking requirements for free-flying robots supporting missions on-orbit, to Mars, the Moon, or NEOs. Interface requirements such as mate/de-mate cycles, stiffness, strength, repeatability, misalignment tolerance, human safety, debris mitigation, and electrical feedthrough characteristics will be derived through contact with potential end users to characterize potential use cases and future mission payloads.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Docking, manipulating and tool change interfaces will be key components to future free-flying robot platforms in support of human exploration missions. The UDI would find extensive applications in systems designed to operate in intravehicular activities, extravehicular activities, and surface operations on Mars, the Moon, NEOs and other dusty environments. Future mission scenarios featuring flexible, modular, universal architectures for robotic manipulation, payloads, and sampling will all call for such an interface. Companion robots such as free-flying robots require ways to dock for modular assembly in free space, to manipulate assets, or to recharge. Applications for the UDI include a range of missions beyond free-flying robots that may include on-orbit satellite servicing, companion robots for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and next-decade landed Lunar missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
While NASA applications for this technology are the primary focus of this development effort, non-NASA applications for the UDI technology have been identified. There is a need for highly reliable robotic docking interfaces among a range of autonomous vehicles, including on-orbit servicing vehicles, ground robotics, and AUVs (i.e. drones). By designing for autonomous operations, the UDI will provide misalignment tolerance, low-force engagement, light weight, and other features suited to UGV and UAV markets. Docking and recharge using a common interface can also extend range, function, and operational availability of teleoperated or semi-autonomous robotic systems. For example, DARPA is organizing the Consortium For Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS) to define consensus-based technical standards that will enable commercial operations. Honeybee plans to engage with industry standards developers to position the UDI as a common electromechanical interface to improve payload interoperation and functionality of future servicing robots. Non-NASA commercial applications will be examined more thoroughly during Phase 2 to provide a broader base for commercialization efforts.

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.)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Tools/EVA Tools

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59