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Continuum Actuated Redundant Tendon Robots

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: 140D0420C0061
Agency Tracking Number: DHR001119S0035-23-0002
Amount: $224,705.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: HR001119S0035-23
Solicitation Number: DARPA HR001119S0035-23
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-02-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-02-27
Small Business Information
815 14TH ST SW STE A150
United States
DUNS: 083338297
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Murphey
 (505) 250-3006
Business Contact
 Thomas Murphey
Phone: (505) 250-3006
Research Institution
 Colorado State University
 Bill Moseley Bill Moseley
2002 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523
United States

 (970) 491-1541
 Nonprofit college or university

Opterus Research and Development, Inc. (Opterus) and Colorado State University (CSU) have combined the best features of high strain composites (HSC), continuum robots, and tendon actuated robots to develop a new concept called Continuum Actuated Redundant Tendon (CART) Robot to enable self-reconfigurable modular robots that can perform various tasks (e.g., walking, crawling, wheeling, and grasping, etc.) without modifying the mechanical structure. CART robot has six modular limbs are made from a high strain composite backbone connected to frame elements that are tied via tendons. High strain composites were originally developed for aerospace (e.g., deployable booms for spacecraft), and they are axially stiff but complaint in flexure, which is ideal for continuum robots. CART robot limbs achieve a high number of controllable degrees of freedom (DOF) by distributing actuation along the length of the limb, which additionally avoids the moment coupling and high loads at the base typical of existing high DOF continuum arms. Distributing actuation also means the architecture is reliable and fail safe through redundant tendon connections. Opterus proposes to use the CART architecture as the basis for a modular, self-reconfigurable robot capable of manipulation and multimodal locomotion over varying terrain.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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