To date, on-orbit satellite servicing and manufacturing (OSAM) tasks have leveraged a single servicing bus; however, NASA envisions OSAM solutions that involve heterogeneous teams of coordinated service robots. It will be infeasible to effectively control such teams using existing teleoperation techniques. To address this issue, TRACLabs is proposing to significantly improve OSAM capabilities with a multi-agent control framework that builds upon concepts from sliding autonomy and task-level commanding. This work is based on TRACLabs' experience with the DARPA Robotics Challenge, various NASA humanoid platforms, and production manufacturing deployments. We call this system CARTEL (Coordinated Autonomy to Replace TELeoperation). CARTEL will improve OSAM capabilities by facilitating faster, safer, and less complicated robot motions to achieve NASA's mission goals.
Coordinated multi-agent systems will play a vital role in future exploration, construction, assembly, and maintenance tasks. The proposed effort will help address these needs in several NASA efforts including:
Several Non-NASA applications of the proposed work exist, including projects at Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the AFRL Resilient Autonomous Navigation Guidance and Robotic Systems (RANGRS) program. Additionally, participants in the DARPA Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program are also likely interested in the proposed multi-agent OSAM capabilities.