RE2, Inc., a developer of intelligent modular manipulation systems, has licensed its robotic tool-change Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) technology to Remotec, Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman (News - Alert) Corporation, to upgrade the U.S. Air Force’s Andros HD-1 Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).
"The complexity of the IED threat continues to evolve, and our unmanned ground vehicles need the most advanced robotic capabilities to help keep 'danger at a distance' for the men and women serving in our country's armed forces," said Mike Knopp, president of Remotec, in a statement.
In this regard, the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command recently awarded Remotec a contract to upgrade its fleet of Andros HD-1 Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to help counter evolving threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
According to a press release, Remotec will be utilizing RE2’s tool-change technology to upgrade the manipulation capabilities of the Andros HD-1 unmanned ground vehicle. RE2’s robotic tool-change SBIR technology is now deployed on up to 173 Andros HD-1 UGVs.
With a mission to advance mobile manipulation, RE2 provides intelligent modular manipulation systems that include the RE2 AUTOMATIC tool change system, Small Robot Toolkit, Dexterous Manipulation System, End-Effector Retrofit Kit, and the ForeRunner UGV.
Officials with RE2 said that the company developed the end segment of the upgraded Andros HD-1 manipulator arm. This arm features a powerful rolling wrist and gripper that is able to lift and maneuver heavy objects up to 125 pounds, such as a 155mm shell.
In addition, the manipulator arm's end segment also features RE2's Quick Release technology. This technology facilitates end-effector tools to be manually changed in the field.
Knopp added in a statement, "RE2's end-effector technologies enable Remotec to easily upgrade the manipulation capabilities of our Andros HD-1 platform and offer advanced life-saving tools to the U.S. Air Force."
Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO for RE2, said in a statement, "We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with Northrop Grumman Remotec to enhance the Air Force's fleet of Andros HD-1 robots with our SRT technology. This license agreement enables RE2 to transition our robotic tool-change technology to the field, which is a major milestone for our growing company."
In recent news, the U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center selected RE2, Inc., for the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research program to develop a robotic door-opening kit for UGVs.Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf