RE2 Robotics to Develop Underwater Manipulator Arms

RE2 Robotics has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to develop an inflatable underwater dual manipulator system for the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) divers are often placed in harm’s way while performing underwater location and identification of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on vessels, bridges, and underwater structures such as piers.

During Phase I, RE2 engineers designed an inflatable underwater dual manipulation system. A prototype will be developed and tested during Phase II.

Ultimately, the manipulator arms will be used as a collaborative robotic system to assist EOD divers in dismantling IEDs and other hazards, RE2 noted.

Developing robotic technologies that keep individuals out of harm’s way is paramount to the mission of RE2 Robotics,” said Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO 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. Providing dexterous manipulation capabilities to this class of UUVs will open up a new realm of capabilities and applications for unmanned systems.”

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