Dexterous Robotic Manipulator for Small Robotic Platforms

Period of Performance: 11/30/2006 - 08/30/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Robotics Research Corp.
4480 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 408
Cincinnati, OH 45242
Principal Investigator


The U.S. Navy s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Units have an immediate need for enhanced remote manipulation capabilities to improve their effectiveness in the execution of EOD operations. The manipulators currently available on the Man Transportable Robotic Systems (MTRS) referred to as Mk1 and Mk2 are ill equipped to adequately manipulate the small items frequently encountered in theater, such as small gauge wire, electric detonators, and other devices that are fragile or sensitive to actuation if mishandled. The Mk1 and Mk2 manipulator systems have limited dexterity, no tactile feedback, and lack the coordinated motion control needed to complete many tasks. More directly, EOD Units need arms with dexterous kinematic configurations, force feedback, and Cartesian motion control to provide the operator greater accessibility, a sense of touch, and precise control of the trajectory of the tool within the workspace. In collaboration with the customer, the company will conduct a task and requirements analyses in Phase I to characterize the EOD operations specified in the solicitation and produce a Specifications and Requirements Document, which will direct the servomechanism and control hardware concept developments. Upon concept selection, the company will create a preliminary manipulator system design and a Phase II Plan for its implementation. In Phase II, the program will complete the engineering development and production of a manipulator system mounted on a fixed base that will demonstrate the execution of the two tasks outlined in the solicitation. The manipulator system will then be integrated onto a government furnished EOD platform, selected by the customer, and repeat the execution of the two requisite tasks.