Cooperative Docking Procedures for a Lunar Mission

Thomas M. Roehr; Florian Cordes; Ingo Ahrns; Frank Kirchner

In: Proceedings for the Joint Conference of ISR 2010 (41st International Symposium on Robotics) and ROBOTIK 2010 (6th German Conference on Robotics). International Symposium on Robotics (ISR-2010), June 7-9, Munich, Germany, Pages 564-571, ISBN 978-3-8007-3273-9, VDE Verlag GmbH, 6/2010.


There are few existing robots that perform exploratory tasks in extraterrestrial environments, namely Mars or Moon. To use these robots efficiently they can perform certain tasks autonomously. However, no robot system consisting of multiple mobile units performing cooperative tasks has yet been deployed on a celestial body. In this paper we present and evaluate a scenario for cooperation in a space mission using two mobile robots: a six-wheeled rover and an eight-legged scout robot. Additionally a scaled down mockup of a landing unit with a robotic arm and a sensor tower is used in the presented project LUNARES). Figure 1 depicts the three units in the artificial crater environment we set up to evaluate the system's performance. The mission goal is to extract a sample from the bottom of a lunar crater and return it to the lander unit. Figure 2 shows a CAD model of the artificial crater environment, and Figure 3 illustrates the mission from start till reaching the crater bottom.

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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence