Application of Virtual Reality to Space Robotics Operations

by David A. Read, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Houston, United States,
Ken J. Ruta, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Houston, United States,
Bradley N. Bell, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


This paper discusses a Virtual Reality (VR) simulation under development by the Automation and Robotics (A&R) Division at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). Over the past twelve years, a number of graphics oriented tools have been developed for various engineering analysis tasks supporting the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs. These tools are now used to model, then simulate virtual environments. VR is used to simulate and analyze space robotic operations. VR will also be used to investigate and develop teleoperation and telepresence capabilities for robotics applications. This paper will describe the system architecture of this `low-cost,' desk-top VR simulation and explore its effectiveness in enhancing capabilities and facilities used today at JSC for telepresence research, robotics and extravehicular activities (EVA) analysis and training.

Subject Headings: Aerospace engineering | Simulation models | Space exploration | Robotics | Computer analysis | Computer aided operations | Computer software | System analysis

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