Roles of Human and Robotic Agents Toward Operating a Smart Space Habitat



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


To construct and operate a deep space habitat, for example, on Mars, is an ambitious goal but bound to happen for future space exploration. This mission represents a grand challenge that will require the application of the highest technologies we have. Countless questions are to be answered. One of the most challenging questions is the roles of humans and instead of/or robots to operate the space habitat? There may not be a definite and decisive answer to this problem in the short term depending on the critical technologies involved in human life support and robotic autonomy. However, by quantitatively comparing a human and a robot for designated mission tasks, evidence can be found to support later strategy and to encourage research in directions relating automation and human machine interaction. For such purposes, two independent parallel scenarios, in this paper, are formed to compare the mission success with a human agent (HA) and a robot agent (RA). In each scenario, HA and RA are scheduled appropriately to carry out a series of tasks to maintain the space habitat in a safe and functional status. The tasks include to repair subsystems, e.g., power, structure, etc. in terms of reacting to emergencies. Meanwhile, the default daily activities of HA and RA are also modelled, e.g., sleeping of HA, recharging of RA, etc. Most importantly, to evaluate the actual performance of HA and RA, we have included an independent research scientist in the study. The research scientist, of which the model inherits from HA, exists in both the scenarios for HA and RA, and is solely to generate research outcome. The outcome generate by the research scientist is the metric utilized to compare the performance of the agents, besides the equivalent costs to engage HA and RA.


Xiaoyu Liu, Purdue University, USA
Amir Behjat, Purdue University, USA
Shirley Dyke, Purdue University, USA
Dawn Whitaker, Purdue University, USA
Julio Ramire, Purdue University, USA
Ilias Bilionis, Purdue University, USA
ICES405: Human/Robotics System Integration
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


Space habitat, human agent modeling, robot agent modeling, trade study, System of systems, Markov chain modeling