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Enhancing Development of Modular Application-Specific Configurable Space Robots

Henning Wiedemann; Moritz Schilling; Priyanka Chowdhury; Wiebke Brinkmann; Isabelle Kien; Jieying Li; Malte Langosz; Erik Michelson
In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), Vol. 2716 (2024) 012094, Pages 1-8, IOP Publishing, 3/2024.


In many space activities, existing robotic systems are highly mission-specific and cannot be reused. On the other hand, there are several highly modular system designs, that lack the specialized hardware, yet. The MODKOM (Modular Components as Building Blocks for Application-specific Configurable Space Robots) project, aims to create a toolbox that allows to configure and recombine a robot for certain tasks, out of specialized and standardized building blocks; this also includes commercial off-the-shelf components. Therefore, MODKOM also focuses on providing a software framework to compose and configure such systems. Based on the proposed system modeling, all entities (hard- & software) can be represented, handled, and also be stored to reuse sub-systems. By providing adequate (graphical) user interfaces and thereby lowering the need for manually-typed files, this process is simplified benefiting accessibility to non-experts. First tests in parallel projects show already the reduced necessity for manual configuration work and thus, a decrease in mistakes in formerly error-prone tasks. MODKOM also provides a set of modular hardware building blocks, which will be used in the upcoming final demonstration scenario to evaluate the advances made.