Using Orocos to visually track a free-floating target in micro-gravity

The Robotics Demonstration and Test team, in the NASA Goddard Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, used the Orocos ecosystem to control a Motoman SIA10D industrial robot to demonstrate autonomous visual tracking of both cooperative, and uncooperative, targets in microgravity. NASA robot visually tracking a free-floating, non-cooperative targetNASA robot visually tracking a free-floating, non-cooperative target

During 80 parabolas spread over two flights, the robot successfully tracked the free-floating target numerous times, despite the challenging environment and the short window of operations (approximately 10 seconds per parabola). The Orocos ecosystem provided a rapid development approach to building the distributed, hard real-time system, and easily accommodated changing development and testing tasks and priorities, from initial construction through full system operations.