Dexterous Manipulation System for Underwater EOD Applications

RE2 is working with the Office of Naval Research to develop an Underwater Dexterous Manipulation System for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Applications (DMEA). RE2’s DMEA technology will provide EOD personnel with the ability to remotely and effectively address Waterborne Improvised Explosive Devices (WIEDs). WIEDs pose a significant threat to our vessels, bridges, and ports. WIEDs placed in congested areas, such as bridge pilings, are particularly difficult to access and defeat. RE2’s dual-arm dexterous manipulation technology integrated onto an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) will make it possible to perform EOD tasks in confined spaces.

Adaptive Robotic Nursing Assistant

RE2 is collaborating with the University of Texas Arlington to design an Adaptive Robotic Nurse Assistant for the National Science Foundation (NSF). RE2’s robotic manipulator arms will serve as the brawn for the robotic nursing assistant to aid patients and reduce on-the-job injuries suffered by nurses during lifting and maneuvering patients. The goal is to enable the robotic nursing assistant to perform the more routine duties that must be done by nurses daily, such as sitting with a patient that is trying to get out of bed and walking with a patient.

PARA - Patient Assist Robotic Arm

RE2 is conducting NIH-funded research to engineer a practical solution to allow people with severe disabilities who require assistance (human or mechanical) to transfer to and from a wheelchair in their homes, homes of friends/family, and in the community (e.g., hotels, restaurants, shopping malls) in a safe, comfortable, efficient, and convenient manner.  The intent of this project is to conduct further research and development of the University of Pittsburgh’s wheelchair mounted mobile robotic assisted transfer system to determine its feasibility and potential for marketability. RE2 is partnering with the University of Pittsburgh and the Veterans Administration to conduct this research at their Human Engineering Research Laboratories.


AEODRS – Advanced EOD Robotic System

RE2 developed the Dismounted Manipulator Capability Module (CM-MAN) for the Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) program of record.  The CM-MAN contains four independently actuated degrees of freedom, including shoulder yaw and pitch, elbow pitch, and a continuous wrist roll. The CM-MAN is designed to be part of a fully modular system. Using well-defined mechanical and electrical connections, the CM-MAN will connect and communicate with any compliant mobility platform, visual sensor, and end-effector. The CM-MAN can be removed from one platform and attached to another using four standard mounting bolts and an electrical umbilical. Similarly, interfaces to the camera mounts and end-effector mounts are also standardized to allow full-system modularity to respond to mission needs. The CM-MAN complies with the AEODRS architecture, using communications based on the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) over gigabit Ethernet.


DMS – Dexterous Manipulation System 

The main objective of the Dexterous Manipulation System (DMS) was to design and build a practical prototype of a highly dexterous, 8 degree-of-freedom manipulator capable of performing precise manipulation tasks such as extracting a blasting cap from an explosive or picking a wire up from the floor. Secondary objectives included using the DMS to investigate intelligent control strategies to effectively command the manipulator, the utility of force feedback for complex manipulation tasks, and the effectiveness of different methods of video feedback and visualization in performing dexterous tasks.  DMS was a Phase II SBIR for the Navy, with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NAVEODTECHDIV.


HDMS – Highly Dexterous Manipulation System

The goal of the Highly Dexterous Manipulation System (HDMS) project was to develop a small, yet strong, dual-arm manipulation system for current and next-generation mobile robotic platforms. During the Phase II SBIR program with the U.S. Army Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) we developed a dual-arm system that possesses between 11 and 16 degrees of freedom, depending on the desired operator configuration.


SRT – Small Robot Toolkit

This program was initially an SBIR project with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), focused on developing a precisely controllable modular manipulator for mobile robotic platforms, including the ability to hot swap end-effectors using a manual quick-release mechanism. The modular design enabled the arm to be easily integrated for different applications, and the tool change capability enabled new tools to be deployed rapidly to meet operational needs. The smooth, precise control, combined with the Cartesian space control modes and use of off-the-shelf game controllers, combined to make the manipulator extremely usable.

SRT was competitively selected for additional funding through the Commercialization Pilot Program. The goals of that phase of the program included: improving the capabilities of the End-Effector Retrofit Kit (E2RK) which enabled the tool change capability of SRT to be retrofitted to a QinetiQ TALON robot and matured for field use; advancing and integrating the plug-n-play end-effector technology onto the Remotec HD-2 manipulator; to investigate the feasibility of adapting the E2RK onto an iRobot Packbot manipulator; and to advance the base SRT technology and integrate the SRT manipulator onto a robot platform.

SRT was further selected for additional commercialization funding through the Extended Support Program. The goals of this program were to miniaturize and deploy the SRT technology on the smaller, dismounted class of robots, and to harden the automatic version of the SRT to handle more challenging environmental conditions.


RECON – Reconnaissance Manipulator

The RECON manipulator was developed under a BAA program with the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) to deploy the automatic tool change capability that was initially developed under the SRT and AUTOMATIC programs to currently fielded Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) robots.  RE2 then developed a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) to enhance the inspection capabilities.


MTA – Motion Test Apparatus

The goal of this program was to develop a 6 degree-of-feedom Motion Test Apparatus to support experimental wind tunnel testing of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). The final solution featured a large, fast robotic arm that precisely and repeatably moves an MAV through a trajectory while providing accurate position feedback for analysis. RE2 concluded this Phase II SBIR with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Eglin Air Force Base.


RNA – Robotic Nurse Assistant

The Robotic Nurse Assistant (RNA) project was a Phase II SBIR award with the U.S. Army TATRC that aimed to help nurses move and maneuver patients in a hospital setting. These maneuvers may include assisting a patient from a lying to a sitting position, from a sitting to a standing position, or from a bed to a chair. The RNA prototype was donated to the University of Texas, Arlington.


ARM – Autonomous Robotic Manipulation

The DARPA Autonomous Robotic Manipulation – Software (ARM-S) program advanced the state of the art in autonomous dual-arm manipulation. RE2 was the primary integrator and maintainer of the multiple robot platforms that were provided to various research teams around the country. Along with integrating the hardware components, RE2 developed a ROS-compatible software interface, operator control unit, and data logging capabilities.


BS5 Manipulator for Sandia National Laboratory

The goal of the Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) BS-5 Manipulator program was to design, manufacture and integrate a large robotic manipulator for use on HazMat response vehicles. These large arms have a reach of more than 9 feet, lift over 100 pounds, and are modified to interface with sampling equipment used by Sandia.