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Thread: Interact Centaur rover, ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory, Noordwijk, Netherlands

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    Interact Centaur rover, ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory, Noordwijk, Netherlands

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    Meet ESA’s Interact Rover

    Published on Sep 3, 2015

    This is the Interact Centaur rover that ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will be operating from orbit aboard the International Space Station, to drive into position and then perform an operation requiring sub-millimetre precision.

    Developed by ESA’s Telerobotics and Haptics Laboratory, the Interact Centaur is a 4x4 wheeled rover combining a camera head on a neck system, a pair of highly advanced force sensitive robotic arms designed for remote force-feedback-based operation and a number of proximity and localisation sensors.

    As demonstrated here, Andreas will first attempt to guide the robot to locate an ‘operations task board’ and then to remove and plug a metal pin into it, which has a very tight mechanical fit and tolerance of only about 150 micrometres, less than a sixth of a millimetre.

    As currently scheduled, Monday 7 September should see the Interact rover driven around the grounds of ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from the extremely remote location of Earth orbit, 400 km up.

    Signals between the crew and the robot must travel a total distance of approximately ninety thousand kilometres, via a satellite constellation located in geostationary orbit. Despite this distance, Andreas will exactly feel what the robot does on the surface – with only a very slight lag.

    Read more:
    "Astronaut Andreas to try sub-millimetre precision task on Earth from orbit"

    August 27, 2015

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    Telerobotics head introduces Interact rover

    Published on Sep 3, 2015

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    Interact rover ready for action

    Published on Sep 3, 2015

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    Space Station Live: Orbiting Astronaut to Drive Earth Robot

    Published on Sep 3, 2015

    NASA Commentator Crawford Jones talks with Dr. Andre Schiele, the head of the ESA (European Space Agency) Telerobotics and Haptics Laboratory and the principal investigator of the Interact experiment, about the plans for a first of its kind operation from the International Space Station. Danish astronaut Andreas Mogenson will use a special joystick in the Columbus module to perform the first force-feedback-based teleoperation of a rover-based robotic arm system on Earth, getting tactile force feedback from the ground through the joystick to perform a mechanical assembly task with extremely tight clearances. Such a system could permit astronauts orbiting a planet to control robots on the surface, or people on Earth to drive robots in areas too dangerous for people to go themselves.

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    Andreas Mogensen controls ground rover from space

    Published on Sep 8, 2015

    Putting a round peg in a round hole is not hard to do by someone standing next to it. But on 8 September 2015 ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen did this while orbiting 400 km up aboard the International Space Station, remotely operating a rover and its robotic arm on the ground.

    Andreas used a force-feedback control system developed at ESA, letting him feel for himself whenever the rover’s flexible arm met resistance.

    These tactile sensations were essential for the success of the experiment, which involved placing a metal peg into a round hole in a ‘task board’ that offered less than a sixth of a millimetre of clearance. The peg needed to be inserted 4 cm to make an electrical connection.

    Andreas managed two complete drive, approach, park and peg-in-hole insertions, demonstrating precision force-feedback from orbit for the very first time in the history of spaceflight.
    The Interact Centaur rover used in the experiment was based at ESA’s technical centre ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. It was designed and built by ESA’s Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory in collaboration with graduate students from Delft University of Technology.

    The Interact experiment is a first step towards developing robots that provide their operators with much wider sensory input than currently available. In this way, ESA is literally ‘extending human reach’ down to Earth from space.

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    INTERACT Space Experiment Introduction to Science Protocol 2 for Astronauts

    Published on Sep 4, 2015

    These On-Board Training videos were produced by the European Astronaut Centre (Cologne, Germany) with inputs from our Laboratory, to prepare astronauts for the Haptics / Interact experiments that are performed on the International Space Station. On Monday 7th of September, Andreas Mogensen will execute a set of protocols investigating the use of force-feedback technology to control from the ISS a rover situated on ground. The experiment has been developed by Andr? Schiele (Principal Investigator) and the ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Lab. robotics team in close collaboration also with the TU Delft Robotics Institute

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    Building a Robot for an Astronaut: Interact Experiment Time Lapse

    Published on May 26, 2016

    Time lapse of the space to ground tele-operation experiment with ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen. A look behind the scenes of the big event.

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