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Human-controlled robotic systems anywhere in the world and even in space constitute the solution to various logistic and other barriers to human presence.
Dr. Andre Schiele, the founder of Head of ESA – European Space Agency Telerobotics & Haptics laboratory gave a presentation here in Israel on the development of a telerobotics development platform built on RTI’s Connext DDS product. His presentation at Matrix was akin to his earlier presentation at TEDx 2014. The platform is called Space Portable Application Network (SPAN) designed to meet the stringent flexibility and re-usability requirements needed for robust telerobotics.
This platform will allow the ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory to develop and test complex robotics systems and the possible impact in the area of Homeland security and may be a game changer for mobilizing multiple platforms in inhospitable arenas.
Dr. Schiele demonstrated this telerobotic control system at TEDx 2014 by remotely manipulating a remote robot with an exoskeleton controller live on stage. Dr. Schiele was tasked with building the first telerobotic control systems for use in space.
In an interview to iHLS, Dr. Schiele spoke about “controlling multiple remote robotic systems where you want to have human capabilities executed in spaces where humans cannot be, for instance the Fukushima disaster. This is based on our experience in space that makes our systems work in real places giving us an advantage over academic studies even though we don’t have total capabilities but we are very close in getting there”.
Another presenter was Gerardo Pardo, CTO of RTI – Real-Time Innovations who is represented by Matrix in Israel.
Matrix has taken a big step in helping to introduce Israel to the next step in connectivity by bringing to Israel, leaders in the field of “Industrial Internet of Things communications”.
Mr. Pardo explained that this is made possible by using the DDS platform to communicate in Real-time to multiple nodes in a network and this has been tested in all architectures that they have encountered to this point. The platform will allow the ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory to develop and test complex robotics systems.
This remote real time connectivity requires very little resources, as this is a space heritage where communications is cost intensive and making it possible to control multiple robotic platforms over the internet anywhere on earth and beyond.
Pardo: “The delay over networks is so minuscule that we actually get real-time control of our robots and at the same time these robotic platforms are “aware” of other robots in the network.”
The RTI platform was chosen because their product seamlessly manages real-time closed-loop control over a highly challenged communication link. Just as importantly, it delivered a framework on which to build an extremely flexible development environment and is being used for real-time communication to the International Space Station (ISS) and is proven in this DIL (Disconnected Intermittent and Lossy) communication link. Future telerobotics applications will take this real-time feedback and control to a more advanced and complex level as they connect humans and robots across space in real-time.
Written by: Joey J Peleg