Lecturer: Dr Kazuya Yoshida (Tohoku University, Japan)
Date: 2006-08-24 15:00
Place: Aula, Space Campus

Research and Education Activities on Space Robotics at Tohoku University

The speaker has been working on space robotics projects for almost 20 years. In this talk, space robotics research and education activities at Tohoku University are addressed.
As for the research, the speaker's group is dedicated in robotics technology for both of orbital and planetary missions. For the orbital missions, manipulator control is a key to grasp and handle target objects in a freely flying environment. Here the impact dynamics and reaction management control are central issues of the research. For the planetary missions, on the other hand, mobility of a robot on natural rough terrain is a key. The speaker has a particular interest on wheel traction mechanics on loose soil and obtains interesting results through a number of experiments using a single wheel and a four wheel test bed on beach sand or simulated lunar soil. Better understanding on the slip and skid behavior of a wheel on loose soil will help to prevent exploration rovers from getting stuck and improve their locomotion performance. The speaker also contributed to a recent Japan's asteroid probe, Hyabusa, which has successfully made touchdown on a target asteroid last year. Since the asteroid surface is microgravity, the expertise in both of the free-flying dynamics and the soil contact dynamics was fully exploited.
As for the education, Department of Aerospace Engineering in Tohoku University is now put their emphasis on hands-on activities with flight test experiences. In a new program named ?Aerospace Frontier?, students are encouraged to develop an experimental flight system and test it to obtain in-situ data. As one of several options that the program offers, the speaker is promoting the activity named A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites, ARLISS. In this activity, students develop a small robotic payload that will be launched into the sky by a model rocket, then parachute or glide down on the ground safely. The payload should autonomously arrive at a given destination by making aerodynamic maneuvers in the air or surface locomotion after the landing. The final stage of the flight tests will be performed in Nevada, U.S.A. under the support of AEROPAC, a Northern California's premier rocketry association. The ARLISS fosters basic skills for the development of mission payloads, and opens a way to university-based space flight missions. Laboratory-based developments are now going toward hyper-altitude balloons and sounding rocket projects, and even a micro satellite that could contribute to scientific missions.

Speaker?s Biography:
Dr. Kazuya Yoshida received B. E. and M. S. degrees in mechanical engineering science from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, in 1984 and 1986, respectively. He received Dr. Eng. from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1990. He served as a research associate of Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1986 to 1994, and a visiting scientist of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A. in 1994. From 1985 to 2003, he was appointed as an associate professor of Tohoku University, Japan and since 2003 a professor in Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tohoku University. He is also serving as a visiting lecture of International Space University since 1998. His research activities include dynamics and control issues of variety types of space robots covering from free-flying robots to planetary exploration rovers. Recently his activities have been extended to terrestrial applications of space technology, such as telerobotics for disaster mitigation missions.

Created 2006-08-21 11:01:54 by Rick McGregor
Last changed 2006-08-21 11:03:00 by Rick McGregor