Robotic mobility in microgravity is necessary to expand human utilization and exploration of outer space. Bio-inspired multi-legged robots are a possible solution for safe and precise locomotion. However, a dynamic motion of a robot in microgravity can lead to failures due to gripper detachment caused by excessive motion reactions. We propose a novel Reaction-Aware Motion Planning (RAMP) to improve locomotion safety in microgravity, decreasing the risk of losing contact with the terrain surface by reducing the robot's momentum change. RAMP minimizes the swing momentum with a Low-Reaction Swing Trajectory (LRST) while distributing this momentum to the whole body, ensuring zero velocity for the supporting grippers and minimizing motion reactions. We verify the proposed approach with dynamic simulations indicating the capability of RAMP to generate a safe motion without detachment of the supporting grippers, resulting in the robot reaching its specified location. We further validate RAMP in experiments with an air-floating system, demonstrating a significant reduction in reaction forces and improved mobility in microgravity.
- Pub Date:
- January 2023
- Computer Science - Robotics
- Submitted version of paper accepted for presentation at the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)