Army seeks dual-arm EOD manipulator

Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A new two-arm robotic system for explosive ordnance disposal is being developed for the U.S. Army by RE2, a maker of mobile manipulation systems.

RE2, a Pittsburgh company, said the contract for development of the Highly Dexterous Manipulation System was given to it by the Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center but no contract value was disclosed.

Under the award RE2 will develop and deliver a dual-arm system that will allow inspection of suspect devices in tight, cluttered environments; enable manipulation wires; and the opening of bags or packages.

The arms would also be able to unscrew container lids, RE2 said.

"The direct benefit of the HDMS technology to Army personnel is significantly increased performance and capability over currently fielded manipulators for both tele-operated and semi-autonomous use on small unmanned ground vehicles," said Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer of RE2.

"These manipulation improvements directly correlate to a reduction in time-on-target and overall mission time, resulting in increased safety of all mission personnel."

"We have spent the past decade honing our research and development efforts to ensure that we are constantly advancing the state of the art of robotic manipulator capabilities," said Patrick Rowe, vice president of research and development RE2.

"This opportunity to develop, test, and fabricate a dual-arm HDMS is extremely exciting for our team as we push the envelope of manipulation and intuitive control systems."

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