FIELD AND SPACE ROBOTICS LABORATORY

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

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Heavy Load High-Precision Mobile Manipulation

Principal Investigator

Steven Dubowsky

Group Members

William Becker, MS student
Dr. Matt Lichter, Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Jamie Nichol, Postdoctoral Associate
Takeshi Takaura, Visiting Engineer

Overview

A high precision, mobile robot manipulator with 7 degrees of freedom is currently under development, handling heavy loads while completing complex tasks in dynamic environments.  The robot uses direct-drive electric motors based on a new motor architecture developed at Foster-Miller Inc. that allows for 50 times the torque-density of existing direct-drive motors.

Figure 1.  An early-stage design proposal of the mobile robot.

Specifications

The robot is specified to manage among other things:

  • payloads up to 3000 lbs. (1400 kg)
  • snow, ice, rain, and salt spray in the temperature interval -25 to 140 F (-32 to 60 C)

Technical Challenges

  • Mobile platform suspension and ground motions (0.5g): All actions.
  • Manipulator joint friction.
  • Elastic deformations under heavy loads: All actions.
  • Crowded and unstructured environment: Large motion actions.

Sponsors

  US Navy

  Foster-Miller, Inc

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