Category: Tracked Robots

Omni-Crawler Drives In All Directions #DigInfo

Omni-Crawler Tracked Robot Drives In All Directions 11076

A new technology in Tracked Robots, by Osaka University
A simple Robotic Mechanism which can easily move towards all directions

At Innovation Japan 2011, a research group from Osaka University presented Omni-Crawler, a crawler that can be driven in all directions. The group also presented the Omni-Ball, a ball-shaped, omni-directional wheel the principals of which are implemented in the crawler.

“Our current crawler mechanism is designed to move sideways as well. With a conventional crawler, if you position it to enter a narrow space, the crawler has to turn round repeatedly. But this crawler can move sideways as well, so it’s easy to fine-tune its movements. Ordinarily, there’s a lot of energy loss due to turning, but this crawler can be positioned immediately by moving to the side just a little. So we think this crawler can greatly minimize energy loss as well.”

Fire-Fighting Tracked Robot Thermite 31019

Thermite is one of the world’s first fire fighting robots designed to remove the human element from hazardous fire fighting situations. From BLEVES to chemical fires to fuel farm fires, Thermite is leading the way and defining the future of firefighting. At $96K, Thermite offers not only life saving capability but also the capability to reduce the insurance cost of fighting fires by lowering work related injurys and/or deaths.

Howe and Howe Technologies of Waterboro, Maine, has unveiled the firefighter of tomorrow called the Thermite RS1-T2. Based on technology developed for the U.S. Army, this squat little modular robot on tank treads is a small, powerful fire fighting machine that provides crews with a means for remote reconnaissance and fighting fires in hazardous areas safely.

The Thermite is designed to be used in areas of extreme hazard, such as aircraft fires, refineries, chemical plants or nuclear reactors. In fact, brothers Mike and Geoff Howe, who founded Howe and Howe, used the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an example of the kind of location where the Thermite is intended to be used. Not only is it preferable to risk a robot instead of a person, the Thermite is also immune to smoke, fumes and fatigue – the last of which is a major cause of death in firefighters by heart attack.

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DARPA's Robotic Suspension System - M3 Program

DARPA’s Robotic Suspension System – M3 Program – 11035

The use of ground robots in military explosive-ordinance-disposal missions already saves many lives and prevents thousands of other casualties. If the current limitations on mobility and manipulation capabilities of robots can be overcome, robots could potentially assist warfighters across a greater range of missions. DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program seeks to create and demonstrate significant scientific and engineering advances in robot mobility and manipulation capabilities.