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CMS Special Seminar

Monday, August 5, 2024
11:00am to 12:00pm
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From the surface of Mars to the ocean of Enceladus: EELS Robot to Spearhead a New One-Shot Exploration Paradigm with Risk-Aware Adaptive Autonomy
Masahiro (Hiro) Ono, Group Supervisor of the Robotic Mobility Group, PI of the EELS project, NASA JPL,

NASA's Perseverance rover, on its mission to find a sign of ancient Martian life that might have existed billions of years ago, has been enormously successful partially owing to its highly advanced autonomous driving capabilities. However, current Mars exploration requires ample environmental knowledge accumulated over decades and across multiple missions, resulting in slow progression towards exploring unvisited worlds beyond Mars. The EELS (Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor) robot, a snake-like robot designed for exploring extreme environments, aims to shift this exploration paradigm by utilizing versatile robotic hardware, mechanical flexibility, and intelligent, risk-aware autonomy. For the first time, this adaptive robot gives us the opportunity to explore environments currently out of reach. The ultimate mission of EELS would be exploring Saturn's Enceladus geysers – searching within a subsurface ocean for extant alien life. We built hardware and software prototypes of EELS and successfully tested in a wide range of environment, including natural vertical holes on Athabasca Glacier in Canada. This talk will cover a broad range of topics related to autonomous robotic exploration of unknown planetary environments, including EELS, Mars rover autonomy, and risk-aware planning algorithms. 

For more information, please contact Narin Seraydarian by phone at (626) 395-6580 or by email at [email protected].