Overcoming Sensor Noise for Low-Tolerance Autonomous Assembly

Brennan Peter Sellner, Frederik Heger, Laura Hiatt, Nicholas Melchior, Stephen Roderick, David Akin, Reid Simmons, and Sanjiv Singh
Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2008), September, 2008, pp. 4017-4023.


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Abstract
The capability to assemble structures is fundamental to the use of robotics in precursor missions in orbit and on planetary surfaces. We have performed autonomous assembly in neutral buoyancy of elements of a space truss whose mating components require positioning tolerances of the same order of magnitude as the noise in the sensor systems used for the docking. Numerous trade-offs, design decisions, and innovations were made during the development of the assembly system in order to both reduce and compensate for the sensor noise. By using relative positioning, decoupling sensing and manipulation, caching high-quality position estimates, and developing a new waypoint-completion metric, we were able to reduce sensor noise to the sub-millimeter level and autonomously assemble components with millimeter tolerances. In this paper, we discuss our approaches to the problem and report the results of a series of autonomous assembly operations.

Keywords
mobile robots, space robotics, multi-agent systems

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center, Quality of Life Technology Center, and Field Robotics Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Human-Robot Interaction Group
Associated Project(s): TRESTLE: Autonomous Assembly by Teams of Coordinated Robots

Text Reference
Brennan Peter Sellner, Frederik Heger, Laura Hiatt, Nicholas Melchior, Stephen Roderick, David Akin, Reid Simmons, and Sanjiv Singh, "Overcoming Sensor Noise for Low-Tolerance Autonomous Assembly," Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2008), September, 2008, pp. 4017-4023.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Sellner_2008_6506,
   author = "Brennan Peter Sellner and Frederik Heger and Laura Hiatt and Nicholas Melchior and Stephen Roderick and David Akin and Reid Simmons and Sanjiv Singh",
   title = "Overcoming Sensor Noise for Low-Tolerance Autonomous Assembly",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2008)",
   pages = "4017-4023",
   publisher = "IEEE",
   month = "September",
   year = "2008",
}