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LIQUIFER Systems Group Gmbh

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MOONWALK – Human-Robot Collaboration

MOONWALK – Technologies and Human-Robot Collaboration for        Surface EVA Exploration Activities and Training in                         European Analogue Environments

 
Date

2013 – October 2016

Client

EU – FP 7 in the frame of Space, Collaborative Project

Consortium

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz, Germany;  COMEX S.A., France; EADS UK Ltd, UK; LIQUIFER Systems Group GmbH, Austria;  Space Applications Services N.V., Belgium; NTNU Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space, Norway; Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial; Spain

LSG Team

Barbara Imhof, Waltraut Hoheneder, Bob Davenport, Stephen Ransom, René Waclavicek, Susmita Mohanty

 
Project Newsletters
 

Newsletter 1 – Announcement of Opportunity

Newsletter 2 – Spring Simulations

Newsletter 3 – Project Close

Information Brochure

 

 
 
 
 
Abstract

MOONWALK develops innovative technologies for co-operative human-robot space exploration (robot-assisted EVA). It uses and develops further, European earth-analogue infrastructure, and validates new technologies for use under simulated extraterrestrial planetary conditions (low gravity, extreme environmental conditions). Astronauts equipped with an EVA suit and special tools for EVA activities (e.g. exobiology sampling) are supported by a small assistant-robot (rover). The project develops an innovative user-friendly man-machine-interface (MMI) for efficient robot control under restricted conditions (movement restriction through EVA suit, low visibility, etc.). The MMI is comprised of robot control by gesture, and a data interface integrated in the EVA suit. The robot is equipped with autonomous behaviour and is able to assist the astronaut in EVA activities (e.g. exobiological sampling), with a minimum of user interaction.

The project evaluates the interaction of local-astronaut and remote-GCC control of the robot under various time-delay conditions. Bio-monitoring equipment integrated in the EVA suit, as well as gesture and pose recognition implemented on the robot, enables the consistent monitoring of the astronaut’s state of health. In case of emergency, the robot is able to support the GCC in rescue operations. To simulate the low-gravity conditions of the Moon, Mars or of asteroids, the MOONWALK robot-astronaut team uses underwater test facilities in Marseilles (both indoors and outdoors) and Bremen (indoors). To simulate extreme environmental conditions (heat, dust) and specific exobiological conditions to be found on Mars, the robot-astronaut team uses indoor test facilities in Bremen, and the Rio Tinto test site in Spain. Participation by NASA was given through membership on the international Scientific Advisory Board, and during the analogue mission in Rio Tinto.

moonwalk-proj-2-LIQ

moonwalk-proj-1-LIQ

credit top Rio Tinto Mars simulation: Moonwalk consortium, photo: LIQUIFER Systems Group, 2016,
bottom Rio Tinto Mars simulation: Moonwalk consortium, photo: Airbus, 2016

all subsea images credit to COMEX