Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Using an in-orbit robot to capturing a malfunctioning satellite that is tumbling out of control is currently just a theoretical idea. However, research inspired by nature could take us a small step towards making such science fiction science fact.

Using an in-orbit robot to capturing a malfunctioning satellite that is tumbling out of control is currently just a theoretical idea. However, research inspired by nature to be published in the forthcoming issue of International Journal of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, could take us a small step towards making such science fiction science fact.

Angel Flores-Abad and Ou Ma of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, at New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, explain that capturing a non-cooperative tumbling object in space, such as malfunctioning satellite for repairing, refueling or towing, is increasingly of interest to space agencies. Unfortunately, the nature of orbital motion and the effects of gravity obeying Newton's Laws of Motion mean that a robot attempting to reach and grab such a tumbling object will succumb to changes in its own inertia that could either damage the equipment or result in the servicing vehicle itself which is the base of the space robot going out of control.

To find a solution to this problem, the team has turned to the way animals, including humans, naturally plot an approach trajectory based on the visual observation of the moving object -- usually prey -- and capture it. Their mathematical analysis offers a naturalistic way for a robot arm to reach and capture a tumbling satellite where impact forces between the two are minimal so that neither the stability of the servicing craft is disrupted nor the robot hand damaged by the impact. The analysis also allows the connection between the robot hand and the captured object to occur in such a way that the resulting net contact force passes right through or as close as possible to the center of mass of the servicing vehicle and the robot combined system..

The team has studied their newly proposed technology using computer simulations. They simulated a rescue mission and demonstrated how capture can occur with zero relative velocity between the robot hand and tumbling satellite with a minimal contact force. They are developing a robotics test bed to experimentally investigate the new technology. Once the technology is tested in the lab with simulated space conditions, it can be proposed for demonstration in a real space mission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Angel Flores-Abad and Ou Ma. Bio-inspired approach for a space manipulator to capture a tumbling object with minimal impact force. Int. J. Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, 2013, 1, 331-348

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104112641.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2013, November 4). Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104112641.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104112641.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins