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A Highly Dexterous Modular Robot with Autonomous Dynamic Reconfigurations for Extra-Terrestrial Exploration University of Nebraska at Omaha/NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate

The research goals related to hardware development in the original proposal were: develop more advanced 4-DOF MSR prototypes; optimize robot for minimum weight and high dexterity; demonstrate/quantify task-based performance gains compared to past MSRs; and demonstrate flexible self-reconfiguration abilities. We have made significant progress in all these areas during the current reporting period. The new version of the ModRED modular robot system has now been designed, and includes upgraded computational hardware, sensors, motors and motor control, and docking mechanisms. It is much more weight-efficient compared to earlier prototypes and will therefore be more task-capable. In a PhD thesis directly resulting from this work, just completed recently, comparisons are made between the current ModRED design and other existing modular robots. Performance gains are noted in docking time and holding force, dexterity and gaits, and variety of possible configurations. Prototype fabrication is currently being finalized, and upcoming testing is expected to bear out these improvements. Collectively and with the doubling of docking ports on the new robot design, this is expected to lead to demonstration of flexible selfreconfiguration abilities.

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NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

Raj Dasgupta, Science PI, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Dr. James G. Mantovani, NASA Technical Monitor, Johnson Space Center

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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