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TINA: The Modular Torque Controlled Robotic Arm - a Study for Mars Sample Return

Maier, Maximilian and Pfanne, Martin and Sedlmayr, Hans-Jürgen and Kolb, Alexander and Chalon, Maxime and Bayer, Ralph and Friedl, Werner and Wüsthoff, Tilo and Meenakshi Sundaram, Ashok and Bihler, Markus (2021) TINA: The Modular Torque Controlled Robotic Arm - a Study for Mars Sample Return. In: 2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2021 (208014). IEEE. 2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 6-13 March , 2021, USA. doi: 10.1109/AERO50100.2021.9438222. ISBN 978-172817436-5. ISSN 1095-323X.

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Official URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9438222


Upcoming space missions, like the Mars Sample Return Mission, increasingly aim to include robots to enable highly skilled tasks and to increase safety. However, the requirements for such robots are high, due to the demanding environment and the high reliability of the system needed to operate independently in space. As part of the ESA project for a Sample Transfer Arm (STA) breadboard study, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has developed a small modular torque controlled robotic manipulator that complies with the MSR mission requirements. It has 7 degrees of freedom (DOFs) and a total arm length of 2,30 m. The brakes hold the arm in position during no operation and serve as emergency stop. The reachability of the robot was investigated in a workspace study. Each robotic joint incorporates a brushless high torque DC motor combined with a harmonic drive gear stage and a planetary pre-gear stage. A Universal Motor Controller (UMC) is placed in each shoulder of the robotic arm, which consists of an FPGA, phase current measurement, the motor bridge driver and peripherals. To ensure safety and flexibility, a redundant matrix concept is integrated in the UMC, which allows control of more than one joint in case of a failure. The communication between the joints and the OBC (On-board-computer) is using SpaceWire with a 3 kHz cycle time, implemented in the joints FPGA. The motor control loop and the joint torque controller are implemented in the FPGA. The joint power is fed by two separate supplies, logic and motor, for a greater efficiency in power limited missions. The torque estimation analysis proved that the maximum required torques can be generated in each joint. To ensure the absolute high accuracy of the arm position sensing, the motors have a hall-sensor twelve step commutation and in addition a resolver on the link side resolver. An internal torque sensor in each joint is added to measure torques on the end-effector which allows collision avoidance during a task. To allow autonomous tasks, such as moving samples from a rover and inserting them into a sample container, various intelligence features have been included. For the arm control, a RCU (Robot Control Unit) is located in the base of the arm, implementing a Cartesian impedance and position controller. With all these features, the newly developed robotic manipulator meets all the needed requirements of the MSR mission. It is capable of interacting with sensitive spacecraft components, but can also be used as a payload manipulator for rovers.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/185433/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:TINA: The Modular Torque Controlled Robotic Arm - a Study for Mars Sample Return
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Maier, MaximilianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1502-696XUNSPECIFIED
Pfanne, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2076-4772UNSPECIFIED
Sedlmayr, Hans-JürgenUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1180-3960UNSPECIFIED
Bayer, RalphUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2561-7974UNSPECIFIED
Friedl, WernerUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3002-7274UNSPECIFIED
Meenakshi Sundaram, AshokUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9201-6947UNSPECIFIED
Date:March 2021
Journal or Publication Title:2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2021
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:Exploration; Mars Sample Return; Robotic; Robot Arm
Event Title:2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Event Location:USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:6-13 March , 2021
Organizer:IEEE Aerospace Conference
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Robotics
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RO - Robotics
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Planetary Exploration
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013) > Mechatronic Systems
Deposited By: Maier, Maximilian
Deposited On:28 Feb 2022 09:20
Last Modified:27 Oct 2023 15:29

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