AN ELECTROMECHANICAL ACTUATION SYSTEM FOR A ROBOTIC WRIST AND HAND

Period of Performance: 01/01/1992 - 12/31/1992

$50K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sarcos Research Corp.
360 Wakara Way
Salt lake City, UT 84108

Abstract

THE APPLICATION OF ROBOTIC SYSTEMS IN NUCLEAR FACILITIES CAN RESULT IN HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY AND SAFETY. SOME OF THESE APPLICATIONS REQUIRE MANIPULATORS CAPABLE OF BOTH SIMPLE REPETITIVE AND UNANTICIPATED VARIABLE TASKS THAT REQUIRE DEXTEROUS MANIPULATION AND GRASPING OF OBJECTS. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROBOTIC END EFFECTORS FOR SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT IS MORE DIFFICULT BECAUSE THE USE OF EXISTING ADVANCED HYDRAULICALLY ACTUATED SYSTEMS IS NOT PERMITTED. THIS LIMITATION STEMS FROM THE FACT THAT SUCH SYSTEMS DEVELOP LEAKS, REQUIRE LARGE PUMPS AND PLUMBING SYSTEMS, AND LIMIT THE MOBILITY OF THE ROBOTIC SYSTEMS. A TELEOPERATED ROBOTIC SYSTEM OF INTEREST IN THIS CONNECTION HAS BEEN DEVELOPED. THIS SYSTEM IS HYDRAULICALLY ACTUATED AND HAS DEMONSTRATED HIGH DEXTERITY, GRASPING CAPABILITIES, AND RELIABILITY. THE OBJECTIVE OF PHASE I IS INVESTIGATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ELECTRICALLY ACTUATED, MULTIFINGER, MODULAR ROBOTIC HAND AND WRIST FOR USE IN THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY. THE PHASE I FEASIBILITY WORK IS A KEY STEP IN DEFINING SUCH AN ACTUATION SYSTEM AND WILL LEAD TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PROTOTYPE DEVICE DURING PHASE II OF THIS PROJECT.