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Mission Reliability Estimation for Repairable Robot Teams

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2005, 00:00 by Stephen B Stancliff, John M. Dolan, Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu
NASA has expressed interest in using modular self-repairable robotic teams for the exploration and colonization of Mars. One of the reasons often given for using repairable robots is increased reliability. Analytical tools are needed for estimating the reliability of robotic missions in order to determine if this reasoning is correct, and for what types of missions. In this paper we present the first method for analytically predicting the probability of mission completion for teams of repairable mobile robots. We then apply this method to compare the reliability of repairable and non-repairable robot teams for an example mission scenario. Our results show that for this simple mission, with reasonable assumptions regarding costs, teams of repairable robots with spare components are superior to teams with spare non-repairable robots.