A developer of Intelligent Modular Manipulation Systems, RE2, Inc. announced its winning of multiple contracts from Naval Surface Warfare Center EOD Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV).
Currently, robotic systems for explosive ordnance disposal are developed and manufactured by several different companies. Naturally these robots utilize different architectures, disparate user interfaces, lacking common control. These, according to NAVEODTECHDIV, make training difficult and fielding upgrades expensive. The AEODRS program is aimed at developing a family of interoperable and interchangeable robotic systems based on Open Architecture. This is expected to yield multiple benefits like enabling robust multi-manufacturer innovation, allowing of upward and downward compatibility, supporting of emerging technologies, and reduction of the cost of EOD robots.
In a press release, RE2 clarified that under the contract, it is going to develop multiple technology components for the First Increment of the Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) for Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams managed by NAVEODTECHDIV. RE2 will be developing the Manipulator Arm, End-Effector, End-Effector Interface, and the Master Capability Module for the dismounted class of AEODRS robots.
Using its proven, modular, power-dense, highly-controllable manipulator arm designs, RE2 is going to develop a light-weight, affordable, robotic arm with a high strength-to-weight ratio for the AEODRS dismounted platform.
RE2’s end-effector will be light weight and come with a two-fingered gripper. In addition of being affordable, it is also easy to operate. It can be easily mounted on the end of the Manipulator Arm. The end-effector leverages RE2's existing electro-mechanical design experience in developing robust, cutting-edge tools for manipulator arms, the company revealed.
Then, a family of end-effector interfaces will be developed to allow for tool-less, manual and automatic coupling and communication between the End-Effector and Manipulator Arm.
Lastly, RE2 will develop the master communications capability module for the AEODRS dismounted platform.
“By encouraging open architecture and seeking next-generation innovation, AEODRS allows small businesses such as RE2 to participate in programs of record and ensure that emerging technologies make it to the field. We are honored to have been selected and entrusted to develop multiple components of the dismounted class system and are dedicated to ensure that the AEODRS program succeeds,” president and CEO of RE2 Jorgen Pedersen noted in a statement.
These AEODRS contracts significantly contributed to the job market in the Pittsburgh region with the creation of several high-tech and manufacturing jobs. In the release, RE2 said that it anticipates continued growth to support the AEODRS program. No doubt, RE2's selection in the AEODRS program further reflects Western Pennsylvania’s leadership in the field of robotics.
In February, RE2, Inc. announced that it received a Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for its advanced, intelligent robotic arms and end-effectors for unmanned ground vehicles. SBA presents the awards to companies and individuals that have advanced technological innovation and economic growth.
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Edited by Rich Steeves