Computer-Assisted Robot-Enhanced Systems
Space Robotics Photograph

Space Robotics

The space robotics research group has developed a variety of visualization schemes to improve astronaut performance using augmented reality (AR), a method of blending live video with computer generated graphics.  We have automated visual decision aids to assist the operator in safely navigating robot arms through cluttered environments.  Additionally, we have combined physical modeling and AR to create photorealistic simulations of space teleoperations on Earth.  While the benefits are many in astronaut pre-mission training, these AR tools can also be applied to robotic interfaces for surgical and military use.

Physical Modeling

Prior to missions, astronauts are trained to control robots on earth using time-consuming and high-cost procedures, such as neutral buoyancy facilities and robotic trainer systems.  We have developed a physically based augmented reality simulation environment that can be used to train robot operators at a low cost and with higher immersion than currently used systems.  In this system, a virtual or physical robot viewed through a camera can be used to grapple and transport a virtual payload under user-defined gravitational conditions.

Robot Control

NASA astronauts face robot control challenges including display-control misalignments, depth perception, and navigation.  We have developed novel control schemes that map joystick controls to robot motions using augmented reality (AR) cues.  To improve astronaut performance and assist in safely navigating robot arms, we have developed AR-based visual navigation aids and a motion planning system.

Selected Publications


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