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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2013, Article ID 723535, 15 pages
Research Article

Minimum Energy Demand Locomotion on Space Station

1Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Integration Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518067, China

Received 1 June 2012; Accepted 14 December 2012

Academic Editor: Ou Ma

Copyright © 2013 Wing Kwong Chung and Yangsheng Xu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The energy of a space station is a precious resource, and the minimization of energy consumption of a space manipulator is crucial to maintain its normal functionalities. This paper first presents novel gaits for space manipulators by equipping a new gripping mechanism. With the use of wheels locomotion, lower energy demand gaits can be achieved. With the use of the proposed gaits, we further develop a global path planning algorithm for space manipulators which can plan a moving path on a space station with a minimum total energy demand. Different from existing approaches, we emphasize both the use of the proposed low energy demand gaits and the gaits composition during the path planning process. To evaluate the performance of the proposed gaits and path planning algorithm, numerous simulations are performed. Results show that the energy demand of both the proposed gaits and the resultant moving path is also minimum.