JRM Vol.12 No.4 pp. 402-410
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2000.p0402


Space Robot Dynamics and Control: a Historical Perspective

Kazuya Yoshida

Department of Aeronautics and Space Engineering, Tohoku University, Aoba 01, Sendai 980-8579, Japan

December 20, 1999
April 20, 2000
August 20, 2000
Free-flying space robot, Multibody dynamics, ETS-VII, Target capture, Satellite servicing

The Engineering Test Satellite VII (ETS-VII), developed and launched by National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) on November 1997, has been successfully flown and carried out a lot of interesting orbital robotics experiments with a 2 meter-long, 6 DOF manipulator arm mounted on this un-manned spacecraft. The ETS-VII should be noted as one of remarkable outcomes of research effort on space robots, particularly characterized as an orbital free-flying robot which concept was brought in early 80s. This paper provides a historical overview and a summary of the ideas around dynamics and control proposed for free-flying space robots, then highlights key control technologies recently tested and verified on ETS-VII. The ETS-VII flight mission is an important milestone, but not a goal. The goal will be robotic service to satellites in orbits, including an emerging number ofcommunication satellites spreading out to the low-earth orbital networks or constellations. In a mission sequence of autonomous satellite capture, what part is now verified and what is left over for future researchxare also discussed.

Cite this article as:
Kazuya Yoshida, “Space Robot Dynamics and Control: a Historical Perspective,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.12, No.4, pp. 402-410, 2000.
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