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RE2 Robotics to further develop EOD underwater manipulator system

An inflatable arm system for underwater unmanned vehicles for use in explosive ordnance disposal is being developed by RE2 Robotics.

By Richard Tomkins
RE2 Robotics to further develop EOD underwater manipulator system
A device to give standoff safety to underwater explosive ordnance disposal technicians is now under development. Photo of EOD divers by U.S. Department of Defense/MC2 Martin Carey

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- RE2 Robotics is to develop an inflatable Underwater Dual Manipulator system for the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research.

The award for underwater manipulator arms comes under a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award, the company said, but no details as to its monetary value were given.

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The system to be developed is for integration onto unmanned underwater vehicles for explosive ordnance disposal technicians.

"Developing robotic technologies that keep individuals out of harm's way is paramount to the mission of RE2 Robotics," said Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer of RE2. "Historically, we have developed manipulation systems for EOD ground robots. Over the past year we have worked closely with the Navy to transition our expertise to underwater systems.

"By extending our manipulation capabilities into the submersible space, we are able to enter new markets, such as offshore oil and gas, which rely on the safe inspection, maintenance and repair of underwater structures."

During a Phase I contract, RE2 designed an inflatable underwater dual manipulation system for manipulation that is lightweight, low-cost and easily deployable.

A prototype of the system will be further developed and tested during Phase II.

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