JRM Vol.29 No.5 pp. 792-800
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2017.p0792

Development Report:

On-Orbit Demonstration of Tether-Based Robot Locomotion in REX-J Mission

Hiroki Nakanishi*1, Mitsuhiro Yamazumi*1, Sotaro Karakama*1, Mitsushige Oda*1, Shin-ichiro Nishida*2, Hiroki Kato*3, Keisuke Watanabe*3, Atsushi Ueta*3, Masahiro Yoshii*4, and Satoshi Suzuki*4

*1Tokyo Institute of Technology
2-12-1 Oookayama, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

*2Tottori University
4-101 Koyamacho-Minami, Tottori, Tottori 680-8552, Japan

*3Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8505, Japan

*4Advanced Engineering Service Co., Ltd.
1-6-1 Takezono, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 305-0032, Japan

March 21, 2017
July 18, 2017
October 20, 2017
space robot, locomotion, tether, international space station

Locomotion is an important factor affecting astronaut support robots that are used in construction, repair, and inspection. Its requirements include long reach, compactness, and light weight. Tether is a good candidate because it allows for a long reach but is very light. It is also compact when wound up. The authors have previously proposed a reconfigurable tether-based locomotion method. In the concept, the robot attaches/detaches its tethers to/from handrails on the spacecraft and moves by controlling the length and tension of the tethers. From August 2012 to May 2013, JAXA conducted the Robot Experiment on JEM (REX-J) mission, experimentally demonstrating the proposed method on the International Space Station. During the experiment, all the locomotion tasks were successfully completed. This paper describes the results of these locomotion experiments.

Tether-based locomotion of REX-J

Tether-based locomotion of REX-J

Cite this article as:
H. Nakanishi, M. Yamazumi, S. Karakama, M. Oda, S. Nishida, H. Kato, K. Watanabe, A. Ueta, M. Yoshii, and S. Suzuki, “On-Orbit Demonstration of Tether-Based Robot Locomotion in REX-J Mission,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.29 No.5, pp. 792-800, 2017.
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