14th December 2015, by Daniel Leidner

Moving forward with SUPVIS-JUSTIN

We have been very busy in the last months developing the SOLEX environment as we moved to our proving grounds into the DLR Robotics and Mechatronics Center’s new building.

We are working hard to further develop our robot control infrastructure to meet the requirements for the upcoming SUPVIS-JUSTIN experiment. As we show in the figure above, our team has begun the implementation and testing of our concept of maintaining the SOLEX solar panel units with the supervised autonomy control employed on Rollin’ Justin.

Meanwhile, several members of our team are now busy with another exciting space telerobotics project at DLR: the Kontur-2 experiments. On this Thursday, December 17, the Kontur-2 team will attempt, to let a person in space to shake hands with a human on the ground 400km below using a humanoid avatar. Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko will perform a telehandshake using the multi-DOF force-reflection DLR Kontur-2 joystick on board the ISS. He will command the high-dexterity DLR humanoid robot Justin on earth, to telehandshake with a person on the ground. This will be a first in space telerobotics, where a human in space using a multi-DOF haptic device will control a high dexterity humanoid robot on the planetary surface to interact with another human, with haptic feedback. The Kontur-2 team hopes to show that with high-dexterity on both ends of the telerobotics chain (human operator with a haptic HMI and robot avatar), we can help advance the ability of the robot to help the human race to explore deeper, and safer, into space.

The SUPVIS-JUSTIN principal investigator, Dr. Neal Y. Lii , will present the flurry of results and ongoing progress from both Kontur-2 and SUPVIS-JUSTIN this Wednesday, December 16, at the International Symposium on Moon 2020-2030 at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands. He will be talking about the various space telerobotics projects at DLR, past present and future. Dr. Lii will discuss with the space community about how to best utilize different formats of telerobotics, from using the robot as a an extension of the human in the form of telepresence, to the robot as a coworker that responds to human command, in the form of supervised autonomy.