Teleoperation Techniques for Assembling an Antenna by using Space Robots – Experiments on Engineering Test Satellite VII –
Shinichi Kimura*, Shigeru Tsuchiya*, Yasufumi Nagai**, Kazuo Nakamura***, Kenichi Satoh***, Hajime Morikawa**** and Nobuaki Takanashi****
*Communications Research Laboratory, 4-2-1 Nukui-kitamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan
** Electro-Communication University, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
***NEC Corporation, 4035 Ikebecho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 224-8555, Japan
****Functional Devices Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, 4-1-1 Miyazaki, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 216-8555, Japan
Large, precise space antennas are important for space infrastructures. The Communication Research Laboratory (CRL) has developed an assembly-type antenna for future space communication infrastructures and has been studying the techniques that control space robots used to assemble this type of antenna. The first on-board experiments for assembling the developed antenna have been scheduled to take place on Engineering Test Satellite VII (ETS-VII), which was launched in November 1997. The most important concerns in using space robots are safety and reliability. Teleoperation of space robots is very stressful for operators, who work under significant time constraints. This is especially true since space robots cannot be repaired during operation. We tested two teleoperation technologies control techniques designed to reduce the operational load while allowing flexible and dexterous operation during the upcoming ETS-VII experiments. The first is audio feedback. The second is virtual bilateral control. Both techniques were found to significantly improve efficiency and reduce the risks associated with space assembly.
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