NASA Drives Mars Rover Like a NVIDIA-Powered 3D Game
In the wake of all the NASA/JPL coverage of the agency's latest landing on Mars, many have overlooked some of the technical marvels that are being used by the mission engineers. One of the more interesting thing to look at is how engineers and scientists control and direct the rover all the way on the planet Mars. NASA has done what many gaming enthusiasts have done - turn to NVIDIA technology! The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Guidance, Navigation and Control team that maneuvers the rover, Curiosity, have created a simulated environment to model each movement in 3D before directing it where to go. By doing this, engineers can practice their maneuvers in a safe environment to help protect mobile robot. Using stereoscopic imagery captured by the rover and NVIDIA 3D Vision glasses, the JPL team can see Mars in 3D to determine how Curiosity should make its next move.
The Robot Sequencing and Visualization Program, or RSVP, is a fully 3D virtual environment with Martian terrain captured by the rover. By inserting a detailed 3D model of Curiosity, and using off-the-shelf 3D Vision glasses, the JPL team can model every movement to see how Curiosity would behave. This not only helps with navigation, but also helps them test complicated movements of the robotic arm (like drilling and recovering soil samples) to ensure each motion will be unimpeded.
Posted by | Mon, Aug 13, 2012 - 08:32 PM