IFOS proposes an innovative multi-purpose and multi-functional dexterous manipulator system for autonomous robots such as Astrobee, featuring an end-effector comprising a set of fingers with embedded fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. This ‘sensitive skin’ can convey tactile and force feedback information to an interrogator that controls the fiber-sensed actuators and downstream, an active wrist. Thanks to synergism with ongoing advanced development efforts at IFOS, it is expected that Phase I of the project will involve the customized design of a miniaturized interrogator – I*SenseNano™ – leading to a Phase II demonstration of the interrogator. Enabled by the latest advances in photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology, the interrogator with volume under 210 cm3 can be accommodated in the Astrobee, where it will interface with other systems to perform numerous IVA tasks including structure inspection, and parameter sensing.
Enter text here related to the technology’s NASA applications.
The manipulator will allow more dexterous handling of objects, as well as sensing, diagnostics and parameter monitoring in space based platforms such as The Gateway while deployed on autonomous platforms such as the Astrobee and the Robonaut. It is suitable for numerous intra-vehicle activities (IVA) tasks, including payload operations and caretaking, with potential extension to Extra-vehicular activities (EVA) thanks to fiber immunity to electromagnetic Impulses (EMI).
Potential and benefits can be realized for the Medical Device market, rehabilitation Exoskeletons and prosthetics, Defense and Homeland Security, Electronics and Automotive, Mil/Aero/Energy Exploration, Industrial, Home Automation, and Hazardous Material Handling.