Space Robot Dynamics and Control: To Orbit, From Orbit, and Future

  • Kazuya Yoshida


The Engineering Test Satellite VII (ETS-VII), launched by National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) on November 1997, has been successfully flown and carried out a lot of interesting orbital robotics experiments with a 2 meter-long, 6 DOF manipulator arm mounted on this un-manned spacecraft. The ETS-VII should be noted as one of remarkable outcomes of research effort on space robots, particularly characterized as a orbital free-flying robot which concept was brought in early 80s. This paper provides overview and summarize the ideas around dynamics and control proposed for such a free-flying space robot and what has been recently tested and verified on ETS-VII. The ETS-VII flight mission is an important milestone, but not a goal. The goal will be robotic service to satellites in orbits, including an emerging number of communication satellites spreading out to the low-earth orbital networks or constellations. Which aspect of technology is now verified and which is left over for future satellite servicing are also discussed.


Flight Data Space Robot Reaction Wheel Target Satellite Kinematic Calibration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    D. L. Akin, M. L. Minsky, E. D. Thiel and C. R. Curtzman, “Space Applications of Automation, Robotics and Machine Intelligence Systems (ARAMIS) phase II,” NASA-CR-3734 — 3736, 1983.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Space Robotics: Dynamics and Control, edited by Xu and Kanade, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    G. Hirzinger, B. Brunner, J. Dietrich and J. Heindl, “Sensor-Based Space Robotic-ROTEX and Its Telerobotic Features,” IEEE Trans. Robotics and Automation, Vol.9, No.5, pp. 649–663, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Z. Vafa and S. Dubowsky, “On the Dynamics of Manipulators in Space Using the Virtual Manipulator Approach,” Proc. of 1987 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 579–585, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Y.Umetani and K.Yoshida, “Continuous Path Control of Space Manipulators Mounted on OMV,” Acta Astronautica, vol.15, No.12, pp.981–986, 1987. (Presented at the 37th IAF Conf, Oct. 1986 )CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Y. Nakamura and R. Mukherjee, “Nonholonomic Path Planning of Space Robots,” Proc. of 1989 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1050–1055, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    S. Dubowsky and M. Torres, “Path Planning for Space Manipulators to Minimize the Attitude Control Fuel,” Proc. of Int. Symp. on AI, Robotics and Automation (i-SAIRAS), pp. 259–262, 1990.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    K. Yoshida, D. N. Nenchev and M. Uchiyama, “Moving base robotics and reaction management control,” Robotics Research: The Seventh International Symposium, Ed. by G. Giralt and G. Hirzinger, Springer Verlag, 1996, pp. 101–109.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    K. Yoshida and K. Kawai, “Feed-Forward Reaction Compensation Based on Computed Momentum: A Practical Spacecraft/Manipulator Coordination in Space Robots,” Proc. of 1993 JSME Int. Conf. on Advanced Mechatronics, pp. 848–853, 1993.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    M. Oda, “Coordinated Control of Spacecraft Attitude and Its Manipulator,” Proc. 1996 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 732–738, 1996.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    M. Oda et al, “ETS-VII, Space Robot In-Orbit Experiment Satellite,” Proc. 1996 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 739–744, 1996.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    There are a number of papers reporting the ETS-VII flight experiments in Proc. 5th Int. Symp. on AI, Robotics and Automation in Space, iSAIRAS’99, June 1999, ESTEC, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    I. Kawano et al, “First Result of Autonomous Rendezvous Docking Experiments on NASDA’s ETS-VII Satellite,” Proc. of 49th Int. Astronautical Congress, IAF-98-A3.09, 1998.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    M. Oda and T. Doi, “Teleoperation System of ETS-VII Experiment System,” Proc. 1997 IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 1644–1650, 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuya Yoshida
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aeronautics and Space EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

Personalised recommendations