Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
The capability to assemble structures is fundamental to the use of robotics in precursor missions in orbit and on planetary surfaces. We have performed autonomous assembly in neutral buoyancy of elements of a space truss whose mating components require positioning tolerances of the same order of magnitude as the noise in the sensor systems used for the docking. Numerous trade-offs, design decisions, and innovations were made during the development of the assembly system in order to both reduce and compensate for the sensor noise. By using relative positioning, decoupling sensing and manipulation, caching high-quality position estimates, and developing a new waypoint-completion metric, we were able to reduce sensor noise to the sub-millimeter level and autonomously assemble components with millimeter tolerances. In this paper, we discuss our approaches to the problem and report the results of a series of autonomous assembly operations.
IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 4017-4023.