A Sensor Arm for Robotic Antarctic Meteorite Search

Christopher Urmson, Benjamin Shamah, James Teza, Michael D. Wagner, Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, and William (Red) L. Whittaker
Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Field and Service Robotics, July, 2001.


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Abstract
In January 2000 the Nomad robot searched an area of blue ice in Antarctica and autonomously classified 5 in-situ meteorites. The robotic capabilities of search and target identification, coupled with the scientific capabilities of analysis and classification of rocks in an extreme environment were made possible by the integration of many different technologies for both hardware and software. This paper focuses on the development and integration of the sensor arm used to deploy a spectrometer from a multi-meter scale robot to centimeter scale rocks. The sensor arm combines off the shelf hardware for motion control, actuation, and sensing. Available techniques were applied in the areas of kinematics, visual servoing and image segmentation. The successful demonstration of the robotic search for Antarctic meteorites serves as a benchmark for the advancement of both custom designed and off the shelf robotic technologies.

Keywords
meteorite search, visual servoing, robotic sensor placement, robot arm

Notes
Sponsor: NASA
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Space Robotics Initiative and Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Robotic Antarctic Meteorite Search

Text Reference
Christopher Urmson, Benjamin Shamah, James Teza, Michael D. Wagner, Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, and William (Red) L. Whittaker, "A Sensor Arm for Robotic Antarctic Meteorite Search," Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Field and Service Robotics, July, 2001.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Urmson_2001_3794,
   author = "Christopher Urmson and Benjamin Shamah and James Teza and Michael D Wagner and Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos and William (Red) L. Whittaker",
   title = "A Sensor Arm for Robotic Antarctic Meteorite Search",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Field and Service Robotics",
   address = "Helsinki, Finland",
   month = "July",
   year = "2001",
}