NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot (NanoRacks-FCHS-Robot) - 08.27.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot (NanoRacks-FCHS-Robot) is a NanoLab project studying the effects of microgravity on remotely controlled robot control mechanisms and mechanical devices. The Fremont Christian School Micro-Robot is named PI, for Programmable Intelligence. The goal of the investigation is to determine the feasibility of using robots to complete tasks in a microgravity environment, where the only force to overcome is friction.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Fremont Christian High School, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-16; NanoRacks Module-20

Principal Investigator(s)
Fremont Christian High School , Fremont Christian High School, Fremont, CA, United States

Information Pending

NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration 1
September 2011 - May 2012; September 2012 - March 2013

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot (NanoRacks-FCHS-Robot) helps determine if autonomous robots can perform tasks that are unsafe for crewmembers.

  • The micro-robot operates on 4 randomly-activated 15 mm x 15 mm fans to move the robot in a microgravity environment using a pre-determined manner.

  • The goal is to check the feasibility of robot operation in a microgravity environment. This project is an initial step in that process.

NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot (NanoRacks-FCHS-Robot) is a micro-robot experiment examining the operation of a miniature robot powered by four Sunon Corporation UF3F3-700 miniature brushless fans. The robot is constrained by an X-Y retention system and propelled by a dual set of X and Y direction fans. The robot translates within the volume of its Experiment Module Assembly and images are stored of its operation. A control cable connects the robot module with the microcontroller board. The fans push the robot module in two axes for robot motion (there is no z-axis translation). Again, this is contained within the module – crew does not interface with any internal module components.

The students of Fremont Christian School in Fremont, California program the fan propelled robot to move in an x/y plane. The rate of travel and the total amount of travel is measured by analyzing photos. The rate of travel and total distance should be greater in microgravity, because the friction between the robot and supporting x/y rails should be minimal.

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Space Applications
Determining how robots function remotely in microgravity is essential to advancing the space program beyond low earth orbit. Robots play a key role in the space program as they have the potential to complete tasks that would otherwise take up valuable crew time as well as withstand the harsh environment of space.

Earth Applications
The students of Fremont Christian School are gaining an invaluable educational experience by completing this investigation. Many of the advancements in robotics on Earth have come from technologies designed, tested, and flown in the space program.

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Operational Requirements
NanoRacks Module-16 and Module-20 are completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. NanoRacks Module–16 and Module-20 return to earth via a Russian Soyuz return capsule.

Operational Protocols
Crew interaction with Module-16 and Module-20 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary), and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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Results/More Information

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Related Websites

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image A view of the NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot , PI, on its low-friction grid of Teflon and polished stainless steel rods. Image courtesy of Fremont Christian School.
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image A conceptual drawing of the NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot from a side view, drawn on an iPad. Image courtesy of Fremont Christian School.
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image An end view of the NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot, PI, in its micro-cube, just prior to shipment. Image courtesy of Fremont Christian School.
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image Difficult projects start with simple ideas.  This photo shows the original cardboard mock-up students used for planning the NanoRacks-Fremont Christian High School-Micro-Robot project. Image courtesy of Fremont Christian School.
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