NAVAL EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL TECHNOLOGY DIV INDIAN HEAD MD
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Teleoperated platforms being introduced into the field are expected to assume a larger role in the access and neutralization of area denial and explosive devices. This work includes examination, identification, and disposal of ordnance. These manipulators that consist of a base platform and a multiple degree of freedom manipulator with end effector get carried to the work site by vehicles. Current commercial and developmental arms are either too expensive for EOD use or do not have the flexibility and strength-to-weight ratio necessary for Render Safe Procedures RSPs. Technologies that lead to serpentine manipulators and electrostrictive polymer ESP actuators will be explored in this effort. Manipulators using these technologies would provide the operator, who is out of harms way, with high dexterity, which makes it valuable for complex and obstructed environments that are often encountered. The key to development of the manipulator is a new actuation technology, an ESP artificial muscle that has been developed at SRI. Muscle-like actuators based on this technology have the combination of high force-to-weight ratio, large stroke capability, good speed of response, and high efficiency unavailable in other actuation technologies. The use of such actuators will allow for the development of an extremely lightweight and slender manipulator with a sufficient number of degrees of freedom to negotiate motion around obstacles. Manipulators using these actuators are expected to be inexpensive, efficient, and reliable. Our objective is to develop this technology to the point that a highly dexterous serpentine manipulator with a follow the leader control methodology can be realized for EOD access missions.
- Machinery and Tools
- Ammunition and Explosives