Micro-Gravity Tele-Presence Onboard Device
(µG telePOD)

Our ideas for a small telepresence robot assistant for use on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle were initially submitted to NASA in January of 1997. This was done briefly via "Technology Infusion/Transfer Opportunity Assessment" forms at the NASA Microgravity Technology Workshop at the National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling WV.

Subsequent discussions and an expanded proposal were presented to the Workshop Chair, Mr. Steve Robbins of the Microgravity Project Office, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Mr. Robbins was very helpful at providing information about the environment, ISS details such as Middeck Locker specifications and available facilities. Further refinements were made in the Autumn of 1997 and an updated proposal sent to Mr. Robbins who presented our ideas to Mr. Joel Kearns, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. We also had many helpful interactions and encouragement from Ms. Ann Trausch, another Workshop Chair, also at NASA Marshall.

A number of conversations were had with a varietly of people at NASA over the next year and a half, including discussing it at NASA Ames in August 1998.

In early 1999, Mr. Kearns suggested we present the idea to others and so an updated proposal was also provided to:

   Bill Ramage
   Microgravity Research Office Space Station Deputy, NASA Marshall

   Mike Suffredini
   Manager of Payloads Office, NASA Johnson

   Ned Penley
   ISS Program Office, NASA Johnson

We have also been in contact with Mr. Carlos Parra at NASA Johnson and Ms. Isabella Kierk, Advanced Technology Development program of Microgravity, NASA Johnson.

Back to uG TelePOD
Gregg Podnar
Senior Research Engineer
gwp @ cmu.edu

Mel Siegel
Senior Research Scientist
mws @ cmu.edu

Carnegie-Mellon University
The Robotics Institute
Pittsburgh, PA 15213