With the increase of on-orbit maintenance and support requirements, the application of a space manipulator is becoming more promising. In actual operation, the strong coupling of the free-floating space robot itself and the unknown disturbance of the contact target caused a major challenge to the robot base posture control. Traditional Reaction Null Space (RNS) motion planning and control methods require the construction of precise dynamic models, which is impossible in reality. In order to solve this problem, this paper proposes a new Adaptive Reaction Null Space (ARNS) path planning and control strategy for the contact of free-floating space robots with unknown targets. The ARNS path planning strategy is constructed by the Variable Forgetting Factor Recursive Least Squares (VFF–RLS) algorithm. At the same time, a robust adaptive control strategy based on the Strategy Self-Adaption Differential Evolution–Extreme Learning Machine (SSADE–ELM) algorithm is proposed to track the dynamic changes of the planned path. The algorithm enables us to intelligently learn and compensate for the unknown disturbance. Then, this paper constructs a robust controller to compensate model uncertainty. A striking feature of the proposed strategy is that it does not require an accurate system model or any information about unknown attributes. This design can dynamically implement RNS path tracking performance. Finally, through simulation and experiment, the proposed algorithm is compared with the existing methods to prove its effectiveness and superiority.
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