Robotics is all about precision, and in space the margin for error is super less! Satellite repairs are expensive and necessary, with a robotic arm, this expense could be managed and better results could be obtained. At least as robotics enthusiasts this is what we feel! So Astrobot is our attempt to bring this passion to life.
What it does
What we want it do: Select the tool required, and perform the repair, and all this be controlled by someone remotely.
What we tried to implement: The challenge being space tools are complicated to model with 48 hours, we modelled one tool, the drill. We added a camera for the person controlling the bot to see the environment, and we used OpenCV algorithms to assist in finding shapes (circles, as most repairs involve circular objects, nuts etc). We used ROS node to control the joints using the teleop-keyboard.
How I built it
We used Robot Operating System as a pipeline to bring all the components together.
Challenges I ran into
After converting the solid works file to urdf we had trouble controlling the Gazebo model, and hence we could not demo the entire simulation.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The basic overall framework!
What I learned
We used a solid works file for the first time and hence all the challenges! But overall it was a great learning experience for us, that made us push our boundaries.
What's next for Astrobot
Fixing the simulation, adding all the tools and getting this to work! We believe it has a lot of scope and want to try to implement it.