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Tutorial Review of Bio-Inspired Approaches to Robotic Manipulation for Space Debris Salvage

Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel by Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Biomimetics 2020, 5(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5020019
Received: 9 March 2020 / Revised: 30 April 2020 / Accepted: 1 May 2020 / Published: 12 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design and Techniques for Space Applications)
We present a comprehensive tutorial review that explores the application of bio-inspired approaches to robot control systems for grappling and manipulating a wide range of space debris targets. Current robot manipulator control systems exploit limited techniques which can be supplemented by additional bio-inspired methods to provide a robust suite of robot manipulation technologies. In doing so, we review bio-inspired control methods because this will be the key to enabling such capabilities. In particular, force feedback control may be supplemented with predictive forward models and software emulation of viscoelastic preflexive joint behaviour. This models human manipulation capabilities as implemented by the cerebellum and muscles/joints respectively. In effect, we are proposing a three-level control strategy based on biomimetic forward models for predictive estimation, traditional feedback control and biomimetic muscle-like preflexes. We place emphasis on bio-inspired forward modelling suggesting that all roads lead to this solution for robust and adaptive manipulator control. This promises robust and adaptive manipulation for complex tasks in salvaging space debris. View Full-Text
Keywords: space debris mitigation; on-orbit servicing; space salvage; predictive forward models; cerebellum; preflex; viscoelastic muscle space debris mitigation; on-orbit servicing; space salvage; predictive forward models; cerebellum; preflex; viscoelastic muscle
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Ellery, A. Tutorial Review of Bio-Inspired Approaches to Robotic Manipulation for Space Debris Salvage. Biomimetics 2020, 5, 19.

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