NASA SBIR 2019-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-2- Z5.04-2654
 Technologies for Intra-Vehicular Activity Robotics
 Multipurpose & Multifunctional Dexterous End-Effectors for Robots
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation
4425 Fortran Drive
San Jose, CA 95134
(408) 565-9004

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Richard Black
4425 Fortran Drive
San Jose, CA 95134 - 2300
(408) 565-9000

BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Behzad Moslehi
4425 Fortran Drive
San Jose, CA 95134 - 2300
(408) 565-9004

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 4
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

This SBIR proposal requesCts follow-on Phase 2 funding under the 2019 NASA SBIR/STTR solicitation Subtopic Z5.04 (Sensor-Fused Interactive Perception for Adaptive Space Robotics). Building upon its successful Phase I feasibility demonstration, Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation (IFOS) proposes to develop and demonstrate photonic-based Intra-Vehicular Activity (IVA) robot enablers to capture objects using tactile and force feedback and provide diagnostic measurements.

In Phase 1, IFOS addressed the proof-of-concept feasibility of embedding optical fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors into 3D printed sensory pads that could detect tactile, multi-axis force, and temperature inputs similar to the sensitivity of the human hand. By using a single type of sensor for multiple sensing applications, the design process for all projects is highly streamlined. In addition, optical fiber is robust and can be used to create extremely reliable yet sensitive distributed sensing systems that can be exposed to and operate in harsh and extreme environments.

In Phase 2, IFOS will demonstrate a robotic hand with embedded optical sensing. The project will develop a miniature PIC-based FBG interrogator suitable for incorporation in Gateway compatible robots, demonstrate a multiplexed gripper sensing suite for infusion into Gateway compatible robots, and perform MISSE orbital testing on ISS.

IFOS’ innovative platform will provide NASA and the commercial space community a robotic gripper providing fiber-optic sensor multiplexibility, electromagnetic and RF interference (EMI/RFI) immunity, radiation hardness, the ability to operate over large temperature ranges (76 K - 2073 K), and a high-speed sampling rate. Such a tool has application to intra- and extra-vehicular activity (IVA and EVA) tasks. Specifically, we envision FBG sensors enabling robotic caretakers on NASA’s future Gateway program to maintain the lunar base both from within and outside.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
  • Robonaut R2: IFOS Gripper*Sense will enhance dexterous manipulation capabilities, allowing greater range of IVA and EVA tasks while reducing risk of damage.
  • Lunar Gateway: During unmanned periods, autonomous robots can maintain station, with mission control defining tasks. Astronauts would operate the robots while at Gateway.
  • Medical Robots: A specialized gripper with sensitive movements and force application would enable interaction with medical tools and patients.


Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
  • Medical teams will restore partial mobility for paralysis victims.
  • Industrial: Manufacturers will increase productivity in product assembly automation
  • Search & Rescue: Explore life- threatening situations without risk to life, e.g. in mine shafts or in collapsed structures after earthquakes or floods.

Toy Industry: Enhancement of specimens resembling the functions of people or pets.


Duration: 24

Form Generated on 05/04/2020 06:23:17