Our engineers are lead designers on the NASA Robonaut humanoid robot project. This includes design of Robonaut’s manipulators, end effectors, computer vision system and autonomy software. The Robonaut employs the extreme kinematic control of high degree-of-freedom manipulators and the closed loop control of such manipulators.
Robotic Dexterity Dexterity allows a robot to place its manipulator in a variety of configurations. However, because there is a huge combination of different configurations, choosing the correct one is a difficult task. We develop complex software that automates the most complex manipulators.
Mobile Manipulation Our engineers work on a variety of NASA robots that combine mobility with dexterous manipulation. This includes work on the coordination of the robot’s planar degrees of freedom with its manipulation capabilities. Mobile manipulation requires careful integration of a variety of robotic hardware and software to accomplish sophisticated tasks.
Our researchers are teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University to develop algorithms that coordinate the movements of a vehicle base and the manipulator as a single kinematic unit. When the configuration of the arm moves out of an area of high manipulability, the base moves automatically to compensate, keeping the arm in a good configuration.