V-ERAS-14 Mission Report released

We are pleased to announce theĀ  release of the V-ERAS-14 Mission Report. Between 06- 14 December 2014 the Italian Mars Society has conducted simulation of a Mars exploration mission in Madonna di Campiglio, Trento, Italy in the framework of the ERAS program. This general report is an overview on what happened during the Mars analog mission and of the most important outcomes. Enjoy the reading!

V-ERAS-14 Mission Report

The V-ERAS Call For Volunteers is open!

The Italian Mars Society is pleased to announce that volunteer positions are now open for participating as crew members at the first V-ERAS rotation scheduled to run from December 7 till December 14, 2014. Volunteers should send their applications to: v-eras@marssociety.it by September 30, 2014 in order to be considered. Both individual applications and group applications of up to an entire crew (4 people) will be considered. See here for the complete call.

Voice Commanding for Trevor: the ERAS robotic testing platform

In the above video the first outdoor ride of the trevor rover. Trevor is playing the role of ERAS robotic testing platform and will be functional to the field testing of the ERAS C3 Subsystem applications.

Trevor has been derived from the veter open source project with the modifications needed to fit the ERAS C3 architectural choices such as the use of the Tango distribuited control system. Trevor is being assembled using components produced with a sharebot 3D printer.
Trevor control is implemented using a PiRoCon controller board plugged on top of a Raspberry Pi with wireless connectivity.
The control application is currently constituted by two Tango servers developed in Python, one dedicated to the motors control, the other to data acquisition from the ultrasonic distance sensor (plotted in the video using the standard Tango plotting facilities).
The video is showing the rover driven from a voice commanding application developed within the GSoC 2014 frame.

 

V-ERAS: A Virtual Environment for Planetary Exploration Crews Training

We are currently working on an immersive virtual reality simulation of the ERAS Station (V-ERAS). The major advantage of such virtualization is that it will be possible to undertake training sessions with a crew that can interact with its future environment before the actual station is built.

The development effort is currently divided in three main activities:

  • ERAS Station simulation using the Blender game engine and a virtual reality headset
  • Upper body and hands gestures tracking
  • Integration of an omnidirectional treadmill

The final goal will be the construction of a classroom in which four (or six, depending on the targeted crew size) VR stations will be installed and the definition of appropriate crew rotations in which different training sessions are performed.

Relevant part of the software development associated to V-ERAS will be undertaken by international students within the Google Summer of Code 2014 (GSoC) program were IMS participate as mentor organization.

The final goal will be the construction of a classroom in which four (or six, depending on the targeted crew size) VR stations will be installed and the definition of appropriate crew rotations in which different training sessions are performed. The availability of a single VR station prototype is targeted for September 2014 and multi-user integration, able to support four stations, should be ready for October/November 2014

While setting up the V-ERAS projects, we are having some fun with the powerful Blender animation capabilities. Here the video of a V-ERAS crewman avatar standing in our living room.

The astronaut model is curtsey of Keen Software House.