Title page for ETD etd-09062011-155734

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Thomas, Shajan A
Author's Email Address shajanathomas@gmail.com
URN etd-09062011-155734
Title Design of a Teleoperated Rock Sampling System
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kochersberger, Kevin Bruce Committee Chair
Hong, Dennis W. Committee Member
Williams, Christopher B. Committee Member
  • Design
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Robot Arm
Date of Defense 2011-07-11
Availability unrestricted
Telemanipulators allow a user to interact with a potentially dangerous environment remotely.

Deploying a robot arm from a UAV would allow an operator to reach farther and quicker

than he or she would with a ground robotics system alone. This thesis will discuss the

design and fabrication of a compact, light, 3 degree of freedom robot arm using common off

the shelf products and machined components that in combination can pick up half pound

samples and has a reach of 260 mm.

Also addressed is making the telemanipulator interface easier to use. One of the challenges

in using a robot arm with a single camera in a beyond line-of-sight scenario is the difficulty

of interacting with the environment because of a loss of depth information. This lack of

information can be remedied with additional sensors. Once depth to an object of interest is

known, the sampler can automatically pick up objects of interest.

The manipulator arm will be used in conjunction with systems developed by the Unmanned

Systems Laboratory at Virginia Tech. This group is developing a unmanned ground vehicle

to be carried in the payload pod of a unmanned aerial vehicle. The robot’s ultimate objective

is to collect shrapnel and bomb material from potentially dangerous environments.

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