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WVRTC Developing Advanced Task Priority for Robotic Operations

WVRTC Robot Simulator SoftwareThe WVRTC is focusing on a key topic in robotics: full autonomy. The research task, led by lead research engineer, Dr. Giacomo Marani, focuses on taking human control progressively out of the robotic operations process. The goal is to increase the level of information exchanged. Rather than a human sitting there controlling the robot’s movement joint by joint, they will instead be able to use short sentences to operate the robot such as, “Go there,” or “Grab that.”

The team is currently investigating the first stage of research, namely Inverse Kinematics with Tasks Prioritization, or TPIK as it’s become known. TPIK is focusing on the robot’s ability to split its task into a sequence of subtasks, each one with a different priority, and ensuring that the highest priority task is ahead of the lowest. For example, if the robot is approaching an obstacle, preventing collision must have higher priority than following the originally planned trajectory.

This increase in level of autonomy is necessary because humans are not always able to be there in real-time to control the robot. As the robot moves farther away from Earth, the delay in communication makes it difficult to intervene in real-time from ground control. Once the robot gains autonomy, it will no longer have to rely on continuous human interaction; it will be able to prioritize and adjust its actions accordingly.

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