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Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Technology |

Develop a low cost robot hand for bomb disposal

Develop a low cost robot hand for bomb disposal

The greater the precision and complexity of a robot , of course also higher development cost of the project. In America, one of the agencies that handle larger budget to finance R & D projects is DARPA , the agency linked to the Department of Defense is responsible for developing (and funding) projects with applications in the military. One of the biggest problems of U.S. troops currently are explosives, mines and booby traps that can be found in Iraq or Afghanistan (which we see portrayed in the movie The Hurt Locker ), and precisely, thanks to DARPA, Sandia National Laboratory has developed a low cost robot hand with which he could manipulate remote explosive devices quite accurately.

While many bomb disposal teams (both in the military and police units) for manipulating robots have on/off explosives, they usually have something rude mechanical arms that do not allow extremely precise movements. In fact, in robotics, build a hand that gives freedom of movement and accuracy is a complex task that often trigger the development costs.

Sandia National Laboratory, through the research team led by Curt Salisbury, has been able to develop a robot hand with sufficient mobility to imitate the movement of the hand of a person and also at a reasonable cost while offering modularity and flexibility. The robot hand includes, as attachments, different types of fingers are coupled to the frame with magnets and therefore allow for different functions with a rapid exchange of these fingers may become flashlights, screwdrivers or cameras.

This configuration allows the user to quickly rebuild the robot hand and fingers can be placed on their sites easily. In fact, if the robot is desprendiese a finger, it could catch it with the rest of the fingers and place within the site without the robot has to return to the control center

The control system is one of the strengths of this robot hand because the operator controls the system by wearing a glove on your hand and move and movement captured by the robot glove that also has a kind of artificial skin ( based on a gel) to emulate the feel of a human hand and the pressure on grasping objects.

The hand, which had a development cost of $10,000, has 12 degrees of freedom compared to other developments made that to achieve a similar mobility, have been used 10 times over budget. Thanks to this reduction in development costs, and expect also of operation, the robot hand could be a device that could be manufactured cost-adjusted and equip bomb disposal teams a powerful and accurate tool to disable devices without to make them explode (preserving any indication or evidence to develop an investigation).

Picture: Phys.org

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