Advanced Software Selected to Enable Robotic Assembly in Orbit for the DARPA Phoenix Program
Cambridge, Massachusetts (December 5, 2013) - Energid Technologies
control and simulation to DARPA's Phoenix program. Phoenix seeks to leverage
Energid's software to redefine how satellites can be built and maintained through
assembly and repair in orbit.
For half a century the essence of building and launching a satellite has
stubbornly endured. A commercial satellite today is built on the ground, launched
alone, and abandoned upon failure. The revolutionary DARPA Phoenix program
is leveraging new engineering technologies with the goal of improving and
transforming this process.
"As envisioned, future satellites will be assembled in space, fill launch vehicles to
their fullest, and be recycled when they break," said Neil Tardella, Energid's
Energid has been selected to provide its Actin software as an enabling
technology. Actin supports control of multiple arms, each having extra motions,
like human arms that can raise and lower elbows independently of hand
movement to work cooperatively. With Actin, robots are able to gain larger
workspaces, improved accuracy, and the ability to reach around obstacles.
Applied to a Phoenix mission, Actin would be used to take advantage of these
extra motions on robots operating in geosynchronous orbit, 22,000 miles above
Actin manages constraints and optimizations. This allows a robot operator to
focus only on how a tool or gripper should move and have the joints
automatically take action to achieve that motion in the best way-avoiding
collisions and joint limits and optimizing for accuracy and strength.
Actin is able to simulate the Phoenix system before launch and before missions
to improve the hardware design and refine objectives. Actin's robot simulation
software models the physics of robot motion and the interaction with the
environment. It enables prediction of success and corrections of problems using
only a digital model.
"Greater involvement with the Phoenix program is a wonderful event for our
company," said James English, the CTO of Energid. "The technology is thrilling,
and we are honored by the trust placed in us when there is so much at stake."
In this effort, Energid is leveraging technology developed for NASA, the National
Science Foundation, and the Naval Research Laboratory. Energid's work on the
project will be done in Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, and Arizona.
For additional information, contact Mary Salzman, (888) 547-4100 x 420.
About Energid Technologies
Energid Technologies develops robotic systems and products for the aerospace,
agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, defense, and medical industries.
Energid's ActinTM and SelectinTM products provide advanced technology in the
form of extensible software toolkits. Energid specializes in control, simulation,
sensing, and communications for complex systems.
© 2013 Energid Technologies Corporation. All rights reserved. Actin, Selectin,
and the Energid logo are trademarks of Energid Technologies Corporation.