END EFFECTORS & TOOLS
FFRK – Force Feedback Retrofit Kit
The goal of the Force Feedback Retrofit Kit (FFRK) project, which is funded by the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office, is to equip existing robotic mobile manipulation vehicles with the ability to measure the forces that the gripper is applying to an object being grasped and to relay that information back to the operator. The kit is meant as a drop-in replacement to existing robotic vehicles, primarily those used by domestic bomb squads and public safety units. The user can set a force limit, and an audible signal alerts the operator when the limit is being approached in order to avoid crushing or damaging fragile objects.
AEODRS - Advanced EOD Robotic System
RE2 developed the Dismounted End-Effector Capability Module (CM-EEF) for the AEODRS program of record. The CM-EEF weighs ~ 1 pound and can grasp objects up to 6.9 inches in diameter with 20 pounds of force. This extremely light-weight gripper uses a standard interface and on-board processing so it can be swapped out for other tools as required by mission conditions. The CM-EEF uses JAUS to communicate over gigabit Ethernet.
CE2 - Conformal End-Effector
The Conformal End-Effector (CE2) research and development effort with the U.S. Navy focused on developing a dexterous (11 degrees of freedom) end-effector capable of securely grasping arbitrarily shaped objects ranging in size from 18 gauge wire to a 105mm shell. Two prototypes were produced for this program. The larger version of the CE2 gripper weighs 12 lbs. and is capable of lifting in excess of 120 lbs and objects up to 6.5 in. in diameter. The smaller prototype weighs 5 lbs and can securely grasp 65 lbs. The prototype gripper produced for this effort is part of the research being developed for the tactical class of AEODRS.
RDK - Robotic Door-Opening Kit
The goal of the Robotic Door-opening Kit (RDK) project was to develop software, sensors, and control technologies to allow a robotic mobile manipulator to automatically detect, open, and breach a doorway. The RDK Phase II SBIR project was with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The pertinent technologies that were developed include 3D sensing to locate and track a door knob, grasp planning and control, gripping force feedback, and simultaneous control of the robotic arm and base as the mobile manipulator platform maneuvers through the doorway.
TRT - Tangential Rotary-Impact Tool
The Tangential Rotary-impact Tool (TRT) was an SBIR program with the U.S. Navy focused on creating a self-powered tool that can be mounted to a tactical sized robot (QinetiQ TALON or similar) in order to break up concrete, hard-packed soil, or masonry. Phase I of this program developed the concept and design and produced a prototype device to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool against a variety of substrates. Testing of the Phase I tool was very successful and RE2 was invited to submit a Phase II proposal to continue TRT development. The TRT system mounts to a robotic arm and can operate on both horizontal and vertical surfaces to uncover objects that may be buried under curbs or behind walls. The TRT is self-powered and shock isolated from the arm to prevent damage of more expensive robotic elements.