Volume 23 Issue 3 - Publication Date: 1 March 2004
An Approach Toward an Automated Object Retrieval Operation with a Two-Arm Flexible Manipulator
Tomohiro Miyabe, Atsushi Konno, Masaru Uchiyama Department of Aeronautics and Space Engineering, Tohoku University, Aoba-yama 01, Sendai 980-8579, Japan and Mitsuhiro Yamano Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Yamagata University, Jonan 4-3-16, Yonezawa 992-8510, Japan

The recent developments in space technology demand various services to uncontrollable satellites, such as refueling and repairing, in order to extend their lifespans. However, there has so far been no research on such practical applications with flexible manipulators. In this paper, we address automated object capture with a two-arm flexible manipulator, which is a basic technology for such services in space. This object capturing strategy includes symmetric cooperative control, visual servoing, the resolution of the inverse kinematics problem and the optimization of the configuration of a two-arm redundant flexible manipulator. For the performance improvement on the rise time of the internal forces at the instant of making contact, a transition control strategy is also proposed considering the resultant mechanical compliance associated with the internal forces. Moreover, we present the control system configuration for this task. This control system is based on IBM-compatible personal computers (PCs), and the computational loads for the task execution are distributed to several PCs connected to each other through the Ethernet. The effectiveness of the proposed control system and task sequence is validated with the experiments.

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