29, April 2021

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10750
Open Date: 21/04/2021 10:23 GMT +3
Closing Date: 16/06/2021 13:00 GMT +3

The goal of this activity is to use the advantages of parallel continuum mechanisms to develop a mechanism of application in future ESA missions, potentially replacing a traditional robotic arm, with advantages over traditional robotic arms.This activity shall produce design documentation, analysis tools and a breadboard demonstrator of a parallel continuum mechanism, with application in future robotic exploration missions, and potentially in-orbit servicing. Selection of target application among the possibilities identified, and definition of requirements specification, is part of the outcome of the activity.The developed design and demonstrator shall take advantage of the following features characteristic of parallel continuum mechanisms:- Actuators at the fixed interface of the manipulator, protected from the environment- Low inertia of moving elements (as actuators are at the fixed interface)- Robustness to minor collisions with obstacles or uncooperative targets without damage to the manipulator or the surroundings, thanks to the built-in flexibility.The design process shall focus on the topology of the mechanism, the selection of material for the flexible elements, and the protection of the actuators at the base of the mechanism. Analysis tools shall be identified and selected for trajectory analysis of the mechanism and stress analysis, to be used as input for the detailed design. If no existing software is identified, a simple software shall be developed for kinematic analysis (linking the position of the end-effector with the position of the actuators). A demonstrator shall be built and tested to verify whether the requirements in the spec (defined based on the selected application) are achieved. The test campaign shall focus on the most relevant aspects to fulfil the desired application, such as positioning accuracy, tolerance to collisions/impacts, or interaction with an un-cooperative target without transferring excessive forces to the actuators.Target TRL for the outcome of the activity is 4 (RD 1).

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Contracts Officer: Maximilian Garre
Initiating Service: TEC-MSM
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 13-B-I-Manipulation Systems / 15-C-Exploration Tool Technologies
Products Keywords: 2-D-1-g-Other

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