SBIR Phase II: Methodology for Applying Haptic Robotics to Agile Manufacturing

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0646448
Agency Tracking Number: 0539682
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Small Business Information
625 MOUNT AUBURN ST, Suite 110, CAMBRIDGE, MA, 02138
DUNS: 620793612
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Townsend
 (617) 252-9000
Business Contact
 William Townsend
Title: DEng
Phone: (617) 252-9000
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase-II research project addresses safety, user -interface, and performance challenges uncovered in Phase I while adapting a haptic robot to the manufacturing environment for medium-production-run paint spraying. Haptics is an exciting field, but industry adoption has been slow. Yet without haptics in applications like medium-run paint spraying, the two alternatives (fully automated or fully manual) are unappealing. Robots are prohibitively expensive to program for short runs, and fully manual operations endanger worker health. The technologically revolutionary haptics field has not yet revolutionized manufacturing. Some manufacturing tasks lack good alternatives, especially in medium run production, where one must choose between high-cost, time-consuming robot programming versus poor worker health. Physical robot-craftsperson interaction will benefit these middle applications, if safe and intuitive.

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

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