The JPL Underwater Mobile Manipulation task has developed a technology suite that enables the automated execution of routine manipulation tasks on subsea infrastructure. The technology suite is made up of an underwater robotic limb and perception system. The 7 Degree of Freedom robotic limb consists of custom S-PRIME subsea actuators and a force-torque sensing claw end effector. The perception system includes an underwater stereo camera, underwater light, imaging sonar and pattern projector. Passive pattern-assisted stereo generates 3D reconstructions of the robotic limb workspace up to a 2m range. Target pose estimation software is used to estimate the pose of known subsea infrastructure interfaces within the 3D reconstruction using a cad model fitting approach. The technology suite has been tested in both lab and field environments from a static structure.
This technology is documented under JPL NTRs 50966, 50499, 50948, 50621. Parts of the technology are patent pending.
Matt Gildner - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Research and Technology Development Program