AKT EPrint Archive

Automating CapCom Using Mobile Agents and Robotic Assistants

Clancey, W.J. and Sierhuis, M. and Alena, R. and Berrios, D. and Dowding, J. and Graham, J.S. and Tyree, K.S and Hirsh, R.L. and Garry, W.B. and Semple, A. and Buckingham Shum, S.J. and Shadbolt, N. and Rupert, S.M. (2005) Automating CapCom Using Mobile Agents and Robotic Assistants. In Proceedings Proceedings American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1st Space Exploration Conference, 31 Jan - 1 Feb, 2005. [Available from: AIAA Meeting Papers on Disc [CD-ROM]: Reston, VA, and as AKT-IRC ePrint 375: http://eprints.aktors.org/375], Orlando, FL.

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We have developed and tested an advanced EVA communications and computing system to increase astronaut self-reliance and safety, reducing dependence on continuous monitoring and advising from mission control on Earth. This system, called Mobile Agents (MA), is voice controlled and provides information verbally to the astronauts through programs called "personal agents." The system partly automates the role of CapCom in Apollo-including monitoring and managing EVA navigation, scheduling, equipment deployment, telemetry, health tracking, and scientific data collection. EVA data are stored automatically in a shared database in the habitat/vehicle and mirrored to a site accessible by a remote science team. The program has been developed iteratively in the context of use, including six years of ethnographic observation of field geology. Our approach is to develop automation that supports the human work practices, allowing people to do what they do well, and to work in ways they are most familiar. Field experiments in Utah have enabled empirically discovering requirements and testing alternative technologies and protocols. This paper reports on the 2004 system configuration, experiments, and results, in which an EVA robotic assistant (ERA) followed geologists approximately 150 m through a winding, narrow canyon. On voice command, the ERA took photographs and panoramas and was directed to move and wait in various locations to serve as a relay on the wireless network. The MA system is applicable to many space work situations that involve creating and navigating from maps (including configuring equipment for local topology), interacting with piloted and unpiloted rovers, adapting to environmental conditions, and remote team collaboration involving people and robots.

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ID Code:375
Deposited By:Buckingham Shum, Dr Simon
Deposited On:21 January 2005
Alternative Locations:http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=320

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