NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation
FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY
|PROPOSAL NUMBER:||17-2 Z5.02-9047|
|PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER:||NNX17CJ35P|
|SUBTOPIC TITLE:||Robotic Systems - Mobility Subsystems|
|PROPOSAL TITLE:||A General Purpose Software Toolkit for Robot Control and Application Programming|
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
100 North East Loop 410, Suite 520
San Antonio, TX 78216 - 1234
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
16969 N. Texas Ave. Suite #300
Webster, TX 77598 - 4085
CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
16969 N. Texas Ave. Suite #300
Webster, TX 77598 - 4085
(281) 461-7886 Extension :704
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Robotic Systems - Mobility Subsystems 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)
Over previous Phase I, II, and III NASA SBIR projects, TRACLabs has created a software toolkit for
programming and controlling humanoid robots and other mobile manipulators. This open-source toolkit,
called the CaRtesian-based AFfordance Template Suite for MANipulation (or CRAFTSMAN), incorporates
state-of-the-art motion generation techniques along with principles of user interface design and software
engineering to fill a gap in the robotics research community for advanced sensor-driven application
development. While this toolkit was initially supported by NASA, further support from a large-scale
automotive client and robotics manufacturers has allowed TRACLabs to mature the code-base for its
deployment in industrial and commercial contexts. Despite this commercialization success, the capabilities
of CRAFTSMAN motion control have mainly been focused on a small set of robot-independent trajectory
generation algorithms, and the deployment of the system has been limited to classes of manipulation tasks
where goals can be represented as spatial waypoints for the robot’s end effectors or navigation systems.
It is the goal of this work to refactor CRAFTSMAN into a more general plugin-based control framework that supports techniques for advanced motion planning, reactive control, and automous stance location. We argue that this refactor would be beneficial by providing a common application programming framework that can be used on multiple systems in a variety of environments, and where new functionality can quickly be integrated to facilitate a number of NASA-relevant missions. We call this next generation of out toolkit CRAFTSMAN++.
POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This work is directly applicable to improving the capabilities of current NASA robotic systems such as Valkyrie, SSRMS, and Resource Prospector. TRACLabs has contacts with NASA JSC ER robotics specialists including Scott Askew, Dr. Joshua Mehling, Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen, Dr. Ron Diftler, and Dr. Bill Bleuthmann. TRACLabs also has contacts Within NASA MOD ROBO flight controllers, including Quinn Carelock (DX2 branch chief), Scott Wenger (robotics team lead), Jennie Young (USA), and Tifanie Smart (USA) and can leverage these contacts to guide the development of capabilities and human interfaces that NASA robots require. As future NASA robotics missions are expected to rely heavily on dexterous mobile robots such as Valkyrie, these robots will need sophisticated application development and autonomy software in order to function. Such capable systems will assist humans with tasks such habitat construction or geological excavation or will be required to perform autonomous repair tasks on satellites or Deep Space Gateway. The CRAFTSMAN++ toolkit will allow task developers to program these capabilities while also allowing a human teleoperator to monitor and control these robots to ensure mission success.
POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
TRACLabs is already working with a large-scale automotive customer to integrate CRAFTSMAN into a production cell at one of their factories. This "flexible workcell" was installed in the Fall of 2017 and continues to operate 24/7 without human supervision. TRACLabs is currently in negotiations to reproduce the developed cell at another location within the same plant, as well as to adapt the software to additional tasks. The customer's ultimate goal is to build the "factory of the future" where robots can adapt quickly to part location or shape variation and can work safely with humans without the need for barriers or other expensive safety equipment.
While the mentioned customer has chosen TRACLabs to be their primary software developments for this effort, the need for flexible robot software in industrial applications is becoming increasingly obvious. As the demands for robust & capable systems grows, application software will need to rely less on tools based on precomputed motions, and more on sensor-driven, reactive techniques that can reliably perform complex assembly tasks. Our software will greatly facilitate this goal. Based on our success to this point, we expect substantial interest from additional commercial partners in automotive, energy, construction, and service domains to integrate our control software (and any improvements we make to it through further development) and have begun discussions to these ends with a number of potential customers.
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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Command & Control
Process Monitoring & Control
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)