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Technical Paper

Human-rating Automated and Robotic Systems — How HAL Can Work Safely with Astronauts

2009-07-12
2009-01-2527
Long duration human space missions, as planned in the Vision for Space Exploration, will not be possible without applying unprecedented levels of automation to support the human endeavors. The automated and robotic systems must carry the load of routine “housekeeping” for the new generation of explorers, as well as assist their exploration science and engineering work with new precision. Fortunately, the state of automated and robotic systems is sophisticated and sturdy enough to do this work — but the systems themselves have never been human-rated as all other NASA physical systems used in human space flight have. Our intent in this paper is to provide perspective on requirements and architecture for the interfaces and interactions between human beings and the astonishing array of automated systems; and the approach we believe necessary to create human-rated systems and implement them in the space program.
Technical Paper

Design of an Open-Loop Steering Robot Profile for Double Lane Change Maneuver Using Simulation

2010-04-12
2010-01-0096
This paper presents a methodology for designing a simple open-loop steering robot profile to simulate a double lane change maneuver for track testing of a heavy tractor/trailer combination vehicle. For track testing of vehicles in a lane change type of maneuver, a human driver is typically used with a desired path defined with visual cues such as traffic cones. Such tests have been shown to result in poor test repeatability due to natural variation in driver steering behavior. While a steering robot may be used to overcome this repeatability issue, such a robot typically implements open-loop maneuvers and cannot be guaranteed to cause the vehicle to accurately follow a pre-determined trajectory. This paper presents a method using offline simulation to design an open-loop steering maneuver resulting in a realistic approximation of a double lane change maneuver.
Technical Paper

Combined Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction and Digital Image Correlation Technique for Measurement of Austenite Transformation with Strain in TRIP-Assisted Steels

2016-04-05
2016-01-0419
The strain-induced diffusionless shear transformation of retained austenite to martensite during straining of transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) assisted steels increases strain hardening and delays necking and fracture leading to exceptional ductility and strength, which are attractive for automotive applications. A novel technique that provides the retained austenite volume fraction variation with strain with improved precision is presented. Digital images of the gauge section of tensile specimens were first recorded up to selected plastic strains with a stereo digital image correlation (DIC) system. The austenite volume fraction was measured by synchrotron X-ray diffraction from small squares cut from the gage section. Strain fields in the squares were then computed by localizing the strain measurement to the corresponding region of a given square during DIC post-processing of the images recorded during tensile testing.
Technical Paper

Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) Multi-Scale Model Development for Advanced High Strength Steels

2017-03-28
2017-01-0226
This paper presents development of a multi-scale material model for a 980 MPa grade transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) steel, subject to a two-step quenching and partitioning heat treatment (QP980), based on integrated computational materials engineering principles (ICME Model). The model combines micro-scale material properties defined by the crystal plasticity theory with the macro-scale mechanical properties, such as flow curves under different loading paths. For an initial microstructure the flow curves of each of the constituent phases (ferrite, austenite, martensite) are computed based on the crystal plasticity theory and the crystal orientation distribution function. Phase properties are then used as an input to a state variable model that computes macro-scale flow curves while accounting for hardening caused by austenite transformation into martensite under different straining paths.
Technical Paper

Pointing Gesture Based Point of Interest Identification in Vehicle Surroundings

2018-04-03
2018-01-1094
This article presents a pointing gesture-based point of interest computation method via pointing rays’ intersections for situated awareness interactions in vehicles. The proposed approach is compared with two alternative methods: (a) a point of interest identification method based on the intersection of the pointing ray with the point cloud (PoC) resulting from the vehicle sensors, and (b) the traditional ray-casting approach, where the point of interest is computed based on the first intersection of the pointing rays with locations stored in a 2D annotated map. Simulation results show that the presented method outperforms by 36.25% the traditional ray casting one. However, as it was expected, the sensor-based computation method is more accurate. The validation of our approach was conducted by experiments performed in a test track facility.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Learning of Object Placing Tasks from Human Demonstrations in Smart Manufacturing

2019-04-02
2019-01-0700
In this paper, we present a framework for the robot to learn how to place objects to a workpiece by learning from humans in smart manufacturing. In the proposed framework, the rational scene dictionary (RSD) corresponding to the keyframes of task (KFT) are used to identify the general object-action-location relationships. The Generalized Voronoi Diagrams (GVD) based contour is used to determine the relative position and orientation between the object and the corresponding workpiece at the final state. In the learning phase, we keep tracking the image segments in the human demonstration. For the moment when a spatial relation of some segments are changed in a discontinuous way, the state changes are recorded by the RSD. KFT is abstracted after traversing and searching in RSD, while the relative position and orientation of the object and the corresponding mount are presented by GVD-based contours for the keyframes.
Technical Paper

A Systems Approach in Developing an Ultralightweight Outside Mounted Rearview Mirror Using Discontinuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics

2019-04-02
2019-01-1124
Fuel efficiency improvement in automobiles has been a topic of great interest over the past few years, especially with the introduction of the new CAFE 2025 standards. Although there are multiple ways of improving the fuel efficiency of an automobile, lightweighting is one of the most common approaches taken by many automotive manufacturers. Lightweighting is even more significant in electric vehicles as it directly affects the range of the vehicle. Amidst this context of lightweighting, the use of composite materials as alternatives to metals has been proven in the past to help achieve substantial weight reduction. The focus of using composites for weight reduction has however been typically limited to major structural components, such as BiW and closures, due to high material costs. Secondary structural components which contribute approximately 30% of the vehicle weight are usually neglected by these weight reduction studies.
Technical Paper

A Voice and Pointing Gesture Interaction System for On-Route Update of Autonomous Vehicles’ Path

2019-04-02
2019-01-0679
This paper describes the development and simulation of a voice and pointing gesture interaction system for on-route update of autonomous vehicles’ path. The objective of this research is to provide users of autonomous vehicles a human vehicle interaction mode that enables them to make and communicate spontaneous decisions to the autonomous car, modifying its pre-defined autonomous route in real-time. For example, similar to giving directions to a taxi driver, a user will be able to tell the car «Stop there» or «Take that exit». In this way, the user control/spontaneity vs interaction flexibility dilemma that current autonomous vehicle concepts have, could be solved, potentially increasing the user acceptance of this technology. The system was designed following a level structured state machine approach. The simulations were developed using MATLAB and VREP, a robotics simulation platform, which has accurate vehicle and sensor models.
Technical Paper

Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variation of Losses in Intake Regions of IC Engines

1998-02-23
981025
Very large scale, 3D, viscous, turbulent flow simulations, involving 840,000 finite volume cells and the complete form of the time-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, were conducted to study the mechanisms responsible for total pressure losses in the entire intake system (inlet duct, plenum, ports, valves, and cylinder) of a straight-six diesel engine. A unique feature of this paper is the inclusion of physical mechanisms responsible for cylinder-to-cylinder variation of flows between different cylinders, namely, the end-cylinder (#1) and the middle cylinder (#3) that is in-line with the inlet duct. Present results are compared with cylinder #2 simulations documented in a recent paper by the Clemson group, Taylor, et al. (1997). A validated comprehensive computational methodology was used to generate grid independent and fully convergent results.
Technical Paper

A Morphological, Combinatory Tool for Design of Low-Gap Automotive Body Panels

2009-04-20
2009-01-0342
This paper proposes a conceptual design tool that could direct designers towards concepts that lead to reduced gaps on the exterior of an automobile. Apart from the manufacturing and assembly tolerance stack up, the design and integration method of the body panels in an automobile contribute to the gap. . A benchmark study suggested cursory concepts to avoid or minimize the gaps. The proposed design tool uses a modified morphological chart approach to populate a table with concepts obtained from the benchmark study and by other means. The design tool also incorporates decision alternatives and hence is different from a morphological chart. The design tool can be used to highlight the occurrence of a high level tolerance stack up chain on the structural/mounting members. Conceptual component architectures are arranged in such a fashion to facilitate combinations through visual means.
Technical Paper

VoGe: A Voice and Gesture System for Interacting with Autonomous Cars

2017-03-28
2017-01-0068
In the next 20 years fully autonomous vehicles are expected to be in the market. The advance on their development is creating paradigm shifts on different automotive related research areas. Vehicle interiors design and human vehicle interaction are evolving to enable interaction flexibility inside the cars. However, most of today’s vehicle manufacturers’ autonomous car concepts maintain the steering wheel as a control element. While this approach allows the driver to take over the vehicle route if needed, it causes a constraint in the previously mentioned interaction flexibility. Other approaches, such as the one proposed by Google, enable interaction flexibility by removing the steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals. However, this prevents the users to take control over the vehicle route if needed, not allowing them to make on-route spontaneous decisions, such as stopping at a specific point of interest.
Technical Paper

Compliant Link Suspension

2009-04-20
2009-01-0225
This paper discusses a compliant link suspension concept developed for use on a high performance automobile. This suspension uses compliant or flexible members to integrate energy storage and kinematic guidance functions. The goal of the design was to achieve similar elasto-kinematic performance compared to a benchmark OEM suspension, while employing fewer components and having reduced mass and complexity, and potentially providing packaging advantages. The proposed suspension system replaces a control arm in the existing suspension with a ternary supported compliant link that stores energy in bending during suspension vertical motion. The design was refined iteratively by using a computational model to simulate the elasto-kinematic performance as the dimensions and attachment point locations of the compliant link were varied, until the predicted performance closely matched the performance of the benchmark suspension.
Technical Paper

Development of Endurance Testing Apparatus Simulating Wheel Dynamics and Environment on Lunar Terrain

2010-04-12
2010-01-0765
This paper entails the design and development of a NASA testing system used to simulate wheel operation in a lunar environment under different loading conditions. The test system was developed to test the design of advanced nonpneumatic wheels to be used on the NASA All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE). The ATHLETE, allowing for easy maneuverability around the lunar surface, provides the capability for many research and exploration opportunities on the lunar surface that were not previously possible. Each leg, having six degrees of freedom, allows the ATHLETE to accomplish many tasks not available on other extra-terrestrial exploration platforms. The robotic vehicle is expected to last longer than previous lunar rovers.
Journal Article

IIoT-Enabled Production System for Composite Intensive Vehicle Manufacturing

2017-03-28
2017-01-0290
The advancements in automation, big data computing and high bandwidth networking has expedited the realization of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT has made inroads into many sectors including automotive, semiconductors, electronics, etc. Particularly, it has created numerous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing sector to realize the new aura of platform concepts such as smart material flow control. This paper provides a thought provoking application of IIoT in automotive composites body shop. By creating a digital twin for every physical part, we no longer need to adhere to the conventional manufacturing processes and layouts, thus opening up new opportunities in terms of equipment and space utilization. The century-old philosophy of the assembly line might not be the best layout for vehicle manufacturing, thus proposing a novel assembly grid layout inspired from a colony of ants working to accomplish a common goal.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Linear Approximation Error for Model Predictive Control of Spark-Ignited Turbocharged Engines

2019-09-09
2019-24-0014
Modern turbocharged spark-ignition engines are being equipped with an increasing number of control actuators to meet fuel economy, emissions, and performance targets. The response time variations between engine control actuators tend to be significant during transients and necessitate highly complex actuator scheduling routines. Model Predictive Control (MPC) has the potential to significantly reduce control calibration effort as compared to the current methodologies that are based on decentralized feedback control strategies. MPC strategies simultaneously generate all actuator responses by using a combination of current engine conditions and optimization of a control-oriented plant model. To achieve real-time control, the engine model and optimization processes must be computationally efficient without sacrificing effectiveness. Most MPC systems intended for real-time control utilize a linearized model that can be quickly evaluated using a sub-optimal optimization methodology.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Human Actions in Assembly Process by a Spatial-Temporal End-to-End Learning Model

2019-04-02
2019-01-0509
It’s important to predict human actions in the industry assembly process. Foreseeing future actions before they happened is an essential part for flexible human-robot collaboration and crucial to safety issues. Vision-based human action prediction from videos provides intuitive and adequate knowledge for many complex applications. This problem can be interpreted as deducing the next action of people from a short video clip. The history information needs to be considered to learn these relations among time steps for predicting the future steps. However, it is difficult to extract the history information and use it to infer the future situation with traditional methods. In this scenario, a model is needed to handle the spatial and temporal details stored in the past human motions and construct the future action based on limited accessible human demonstrations.
Technical Paper

A Review of Spark-Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) Research in the Context of Realizing Production Control Strategies

2019-09-09
2019-24-0027
This paper seeks to identify key input parameters needed to achieve a production-viable control strategy for spark-assisted compression ignition (SACI) engines. SACI is a combustion strategy that uses a spark plug to initiate a deflagration flame that generates sufficient ignition energy to trigger autoignition in the remaining charge. The flame propagation phase limits the rate of cylinder pressure rise, while autoignition rapidly completes combustion. High dilution within the autoignited charge is generally required to maintain reaction rates feasible for production. However, this high dilution may not be reliably ignited by the spark plug. These competing constraints demand novel mixture preparation strategies for SACI to be feasible in production. SACI with charge stratification has demonstrated sufficiently stable flame propagation to reliably trigger autoignition across much of the engine operating map.
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