Human-Robot Teams for Large-Scale Assembly
Construction and assembly are complex and arduous tasks, especially when performed in hazardous environments such as in orbit, on the Moon, or on Mars. Effective assembly of structures in such environments, where human labor is expensive and scarce, can be facilitated by the use of heterogeneous robotic teams. Over the past five years, we have developed the architectural framework and tools to coordinate robotic assembly teams, as well as to incorporate the unique skills of remote human operators using an approach that allows authority to “slide” between autonomy and human control at a fine degree of granularity. We have used this approach in several assembly scenarios, and have quantified the gains in reliability and efficiency over both purely autonomous and purely teleoperation approaches.