All Publications

  • Locomotion as manipulation with ReachBot. Science robotics Chen, T. G., Newdick, S., Di, J., Bosio, C., Ongole, N., LapĂ´tre, M., Pavone, M., Cutkosky, M. R. 2024; 9 (89): eadi9762


    Caves and lava tubes on the Moon and Mars are sites of geological and astrobiological interest but consist of terrain that is inaccessible with traditional robot locomotion. To support the exploration of these sites, we present ReachBot, a robot that uses extendable booms as appendages to manipulate itself with respect to irregular rock surfaces. The booms terminate in grippers equipped with microspines and provide ReachBot with a large workspace, allowing it to achieve force closure in enclosed spaces, such as the walls of a lava tube. To propel ReachBot, we present a contact-before-motion planner for nongaited legged locomotion that uses internal force control, similar to a multifingered hand, to keep its long, slender booms in tension. Motion planning also depends on finding and executing secure grips on rock features. We used a Monte Carlo simulation to inform gripper design and predict grasp strength and variability. In addition, we used a two-step perception system to identify possible grasp locations. To validate our approach and mechanisms under realistic conditions, we deployed a single ReachBot arm and gripper in a lava tube in the Mojave Desert. The field test confirmed that ReachBot will find many targets for secure grasps with the proposed kinematic design.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scirobotics.adi9762

    View details for PubMedID 38630805

  • A multi-lander New Frontiers mission concept study for Enceladus: SILENUS FRONTIERS IN ASTRONOMY AND SPACE SCIENCES Nathan, E., Balachandran, K., Cappuccio, P., Di, J., Doerksen, K., Gloder, A., Li, M., Massarweh, L., Peev, T., Santra, S., Rovira-Navarro, M., Limonchik, D. 2022; 9
  • A Multi-Axis FBG-Based Tactile Sensor for Gripping in Space Frishman, S., Di, J., Karachiwalla, Z., Black, R. J., Moslehi, K., Smith, T., Coltin, B., Moslehi, B., Cutkosky, M. R., IEEE IEEE. 2021: 1794-1799