Motiv Space Systems (Motiv) proposes a novel, space-rated, load sensing system that will enable the next generation of space-borne robotic end effectors: The Robotic Arm Force Sensor Torque Sensing System (RAFTSS).
Because the RAFTSS is designed with robotic, space-based applications as the primary application, it will advance the current state of the art in on-orbit servicing, assembly, and manufacturing. The novel solutions in the RAFTSS system includes:
This collaborative sensing approach addresses the primary challenges typically associated with force torque sensing systems. More specifically, designing systems capable of achieving accuracies and sensitivities at levels sufficient to support mission objectives while being robust enough to handle overload conditions typically associated with launch environmments and large masses integrated at the distal end of robotics has been challenging.
Force torque sensors are critical components in autonomous, or semi-autonomous, robotic systems. As NASA pushes towards an increased use of autonomous robots in space, the RAFTSS will solve the pressing need for high sensitivity with high overload capability seen in almost every space robotics application. The NASA based market includes a broad swath of mission applications from on-orbit manipulation including assembly and sample transfer operations to mobile rovers on the surface of the Moon or Mars driving exploration and science.
The non-NASA space market includes both private space companies and foreign space agencies. Private companies are increasingly taking roles in on-orbit assembly, debris removal, and satellite servicing tasks. These tasks require the use of advanced robotic systems which could benefit from the inclusion of the RAFTSS system.