ANALYSIS AND DESIGN ENHANCEMENT OF THE ADVANCED SERVOMANIPULATOR SYSTEM (ASM)

Period of Performance: 01/01/1987 - 12/31/1987

$491K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Telerobotics International,
7325 Oak Ridge Highway
Knoxville, TN 37931
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE ADVANCED SERVOMANIPULATOR (ASM) SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED IN 1982 AND IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT FOR OPERATION IN DOE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE FACILITIES. THE ASM ACCOMPLISHES REMOTE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE FOR A 30 YEAR LIFE IN A ZERO-MAN-ACCESS ENVIRONMENT UTILIZING A RUGGED AND MECHANICALLY MODULAR DESIGN. MORE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IS NOW AVAILABLE TO ENHANCE AND SUPPLEMENT THE PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY OF MANUPULATION SYSTEMS BUILT FOR THIS PURPOSE. ANALYSIS LEADING TO AND SIMPLIFIED MECHANICAL DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION WILL GREATLY REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PARTS DECREASING THE REPLICATION COST AND ENHANCING RELIABILITY. DUE TO ITS MECHANICAL COMPLEXITY, THE ASM ALSO HAS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF BACKLASH. THIS CREATES CONTROL DIFFICULTIES WHICH MINIMIZES ITS POTENTIAL USE AS A ROBOT FOR REPETITIVE TASKS WHICH MAY ARISE (IE, WIPE DOWN DECONTAMINATION, FLANGE UNBOLTING, ETC). ELIMINATION OF BACKLASH WHILE MAINTAINING BACKDRIVABILITY IS FEASIBLE AND WILL BE EXAMINED IN THIS EFFORT. THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE PROPOSED WORK IS TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOP AN ELECTRO- MECHANICAL MANIPULATOR JOINT DESING WHICH PROVIDES MODULARITY BY ELECTRICAL RATHER THAN MECHANICAL INTERCONNECTION. THIS DESIGN WOULD RESULT IN A MECHANICAL SYSTEM WITH SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER MOVING PARTS, ENHANCE RELIABILITY, AND LOWER FABRICATION COSTS. SECONDLY, BY USING A UNIQUE DRIVE MECHANISM AND ACTUATION METHOD, A MANIPULATOR WITH NO BACKLASH AND A LIFT TO WEIGHT RATIO APPROACHING UNITY WILL BE DESIGNED. WITH THESE SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS, THE MANIPULATOR WOULD BE ABLE TO FUNCTION EQUALLY WELL AUTONOMOUSLY (AS A ROBOT) OR IN THE TRADITIONALMASTER/SLAVE TELEOPERATOR ARRANGEMENT. THE FLEXIBILITY, RELIABILITY, AND ECONOMY OF THIS NEW DESIGN WILL INCREASE THE UTILIZATION OF DOE'S MANIPULATOR DEVELOPMENTS BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR.