Moon Shot - Teleoperation

First private sector mission concepts, potential revenue streams, what various companies and organizations are doing along these lines, <b>closely</b> related topics

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joertexas
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Moon Shot - Teleoperation

Post by joertexas » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:36 am

The first stages of our moon exploration and mining effort will have to be conducted by teleoperation. This articleaddresses operating a simulated moon rover.

JR

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Rhyshaelkan
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Post by Rhyshaelkan » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:16 am

I wonder if there is an open source game that we could modify to simulate the delay to train folks how to operate under such conditions.

Similar to Spudis' plan, I think humans should arrive relatively late in the scheme. I am not completely sold that robots can do everything. However yes, for the initial stages teleoperation is the way to go.

Not unlike in the movie "The Last Starfighter" we could hold an exam of sorts in which you follow the plan and execute the duties for which you are instructed. I would think such exam should be on the order of two hour stints with a short break, then back to the exam. Simulating the work environment for which you would be hired.

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At the higher latitudes the circumference of Luna is quite a bit less than the circumference at the equator. This is quite interesting in that a solar powered regolith harvester could easily keep up with the day/night terminator. Allowing for a less engineered design. Not needing the thermal swing reinforcements that other designs might need.

Large stones could be steered around. Smaller stones discarded. While the fines would be passed through beneficiation and sorted to be carted back to the processing facility.

A small planning group can take high resolution photos of the lunar-terrain to plot courses around obstacles. So that the pilot of said craft would not need academic degrees in 13 different subjects. Could be a [s]average Joe[/s] less exceptional Joe than our Joe. Passed the exam, paid hourly, moderate benefits for him and his family.

I hope that we can keep costs down by employing nice ordinary folk like myself.
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Post by RaresH » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:05 pm

Agreed. Teleoperation makes sense for the prospecting stages with personnel later on. I think it's important to work towards manned infrastructure with an understanding though that maximum efficiency and profitability may come from automating the mining and delivering process as much as possible. Of course our goal may not be primarily profit and we would have to balance automation with a manned presence. I'm speaking of the long term here.

I like how you argued for cost saving and then volunteered for the job Rhy. subtle :) .

Rhy brings up a good point though. Training for specific jobs such as hardware operation could help reduce the cost of personnel. I may not fully appreciate the skillset involved in flying a spacecraft by say this, but knowing that Orbiter is the most true to life space flight simulator available to the public I've been able to learn enough to launch and maintain orbit, perform a trans lunar injection, and land on the surface of the moon, with all settings set to realistic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's safe to say we can probably get BFA college graduates to operate our OTV's, backhoes and various other hardware with just enough training to do the job.

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Post by Rhyshaelkan » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:03 pm

[quote=""RaresH""]Agreed. Teleoperation makes sense for the prospecting stages with personnel later on. I think it's important to work towards manned infrastructure with an understanding though that maximum efficiency and profitability may come from automating the mining and delivering process as much as possible. Of course our goal may not be primarily profit and we would have to balance automation with a manned presence. I'm speaking of the long term here. [/quote]

I would say teleoperation even when we have humans on Luna. Say incrementally expanding crew as operations grow. However if piloting our rovers can be handled Earthside. Then why not let those up there concentrate on other duties. Such as maintaining and building more 'bots. Even after we expand to 200+ persons on Luna. Perhaps some of the workload can be done from Earth. While working in the gardens, manufacturing, and maintenance areas handled by our Lunys.
I like how you argued for cost saving and then volunteered for the job Rhy. subtle :) .
I would be tickled to do such a job for $16 an hour. Slightly less than I am paid currently. I am sure it would be a cleaner work environment. It is all about the little things. However building 'bots on Luna is my real goal :D .
Rhy brings up a good point though. Training for specific jobs such as hardware operation could help reduce the cost of personnel. I may not fully appreciate the skillset involved in flying a spacecraft by say this, but knowing that Orbiter is the most true to life space flight simulator available to the public I've been able to learn enough to launch and maintain orbit, perform a trans lunar injection, and land on the surface of the moon, with all settings set to realistic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's safe to say we can probably get BFA college graduates to operate our OTV's, backhoes and various other hardware with just enough training to do the job.
Quite what I was thinking.
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John Hunt
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Post by John Hunt » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:31 pm

Sorry guys, Vigorous, skilled retirees would be willing to teleoperate for free. Or we could outsource said work to our Indian friends for $5/hrs. Or, since the job is raising humanity to the next level, we could let trained people bid on how much they would be willing to pay us for the honor of doing This work!

Re: teleoperations, I think that our equipment should be designed with teleoperated repairs in mind. Let's say that a rover's wheel seizes up due to lunar dust. A repair rover picks up a spare wheel at the clean shop, drives to the injured rover, attaches to it in such a way that the relative positions of each rover is precisely fixed, moves the lever which pops the injured wheel off, runs the maintanance algorithm where an arm on the maintenance rover attaches a brush and cleans the injured area, then snaps on the new wheel, and then takes the injured part back to the clean shop for examination and repair by relacing parts if possible -- something like that. In this way, automated sub-routines in a fixed, stereotactic setting could get around any problem (if there is any) with repairs in a time-delayed setting.

So the mining operations wouldn't have to be launching replacement equipment for accumulating worn-out equipment, nor launching risky and expensive-to-deliver,-train-and-maintain astronauts but rather just launch reacement parts.

Teleoperated lunar equipment including repairs can be developed and perfected relatively inexpensively here on Earth. Rather than a priori determine what can be done by teleoperations and what needs humans, let's let engineers maximize what tasks can be done by teleoperations and what teleoperations tasks cannot be solved economically by engineers thereby necessitating astronauts. My personal guess is that for mining operations it is zero, but I could be wrong.

I hope it is clear that I'm not advocating only lunar robots forever (i.e. Strictly mining operations). I want to see humans on the lunar surface ASAP but only if actually needed for the mining operations AND for those things that robots can never do (i.e. Populating a self-sustaining colony).

And, if an astronaut is needed for some aspect of mining operations, then let's take advantage of them to do complex work in the place of any operation which would be more expensive to do teleoperatically.

Again, day in and day out, people trust their lives to teleoperations by surgeons (granted, without time delay). And that's with working with slimy, low-contrast human tissue. Certainly solid robots can be repaired telerobotically. All we need is for one person to teleoperatically, with time delay, construct a Rock Crawler from parts , YouTube the operation, and this discussion will largely be concluded.
Last edited by John Hunt on Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Rhyshaelkan
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Post by Rhyshaelkan » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:51 pm

Great point of using retirees. Could allow them to still feel useful to humanity. Many times they will also be of a more moderate and patient mind than some young-pup. We would not want someone to come along and some day throw a temper tantrum and ruin millions of dollars worth of hardware.

Personally I would like to avoid exporting jobs. It makes massive economic sense, I do understand that. It might also come down to who is investing or donating money to us. We can turn around and pay workers from that area. Thus preserving and not draining that economy. Still rather miffed about companies exporting jobs to make a profit without a care for maintaining an economy. Since this is telops, and most likely done by internet. Our telops people could be anywhere in the world, logging in from home even, wearing boxers, or thongs :D :o :eek: :rolleyes:
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Post by RaresH » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:13 pm

[quote=""JohnHunt""]Sorry guys, Vigorous, skilled retirees would be willing to teleoperate for free. Or we could outsource said work to our Indian friends for $5/hrs. Or, since the job is raising humanity to the next level, we could let trained people bid on how much they would be willing to pay us for the honor of doing This work![/quote]

Only thing is the moonshot project is not a nonprofit, so hiring free labor may not be an option for legal reasons. Plus it won't help our image any to pay skilled labor minimum or no wages.
Re: teleoperations, I think that our equipment should be designed with teleoperated repairs in mind. Let's say that a rover's wheel seizes up due to lunar dust. A repair rover picks up a spare wheel at the clean shop, drives to the injured rover, attaches to it in such a way that the relative positions of each rover is precisely fixed, moves the lever which pops the injured wheel off, runs the maintanance algorithm where an arm on the maintenance rover attaches a brush and cleans the injured area, then snaps on the new wheel, and then takes the injured part back to the clean shop for examination and repair by relacing parts if possible -- something like that. In this way, automated sub-routines in a fixed, stereotactic setting could get around any problem (if there is any) with repairs in a time-delayed setting.
So the mining operations wouldn't have to be launching replacement equipment for accumulating worn-out equipment, nor launching risky and expensive-to-deliver,-train-and-maintain astronauts but rather just launch reacement parts.
That sounds like a nice plan. In order to do that though, we have to design and engineer the equipment from scratch. This contrasts our 'good enough' and 'off the shelf' approach and will increase costs no doubt even though it will be cheaper than sending people up anyway. No off the shelf equipment has that level of modular and interoperable design.

Mining operations will get more complex and there will no doubt be odd problems that a machine is not designed for handling. A human on the ground is more adaptable and flexible than a machine is currently. Still, for a fledgling mining operation automation and teleoperation will have to be the way to go because it's just too expensive to send people up.

As i mentioned if we want to maximize profit then we work for automation and teleoperation, but again, that's not all were trying to do is it. Plus how boring just to send machines. Nothing makes history or excites like a manned mission.

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Post by John Hunt » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:19 am

Now I was being facetious about retirees and outsourcing. If we have investors enough to start actual mining operations and if we are getting a billion a year, we certainly would have enough to hire and train teleoperators.

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