CANBERRA, Australia, May 2 (UPI) -- Australia's military has developed a prototype bomb disposal system robotic arm that gives system operators a "realistic grasp and feel" of remote objects.
Australian Minister for Defense Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon said a licensing agreement to further develop the technology for military use has been signed by the Defense Science and Technology Organization and Deakin University.
Under the agreement, Deakin University will be allowed to tap commercial partners to manufacture and distribute the technology and other haptic (touch feedback) systems.
"The haptic arm system allows operators to remotely grasp and feel the weight and texture of objects in real time and improves their awareness of the situation to take appropriate action," Snowdon said.
He said that in addition to bomb disposal by the military, "remotely operated robots fitted with the haptic arm system could also be employed in civilian environments to safely remove or neutralize hazardous materials."
Officials said the mobile robotic platform incorporating the haptically enabled arm was adapted from an existing chassis design developed by Deakin University.