Drill End-Effector for Robotic Drilling in Confined Space Aircraft Inlet Ducts

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-07-M-5506
Agency Tracking Number: F063-011-0003
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: AF063C-011
Solicitation Number: 2006.3
Small Business Information
3319 21st Ave NW, Gig Harbor, WA, 98367
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douglas Beck
 (360) 876-9710
Business Contact
 Douglas Beck
Title: President
Phone: (360) 876-9710
Email: dbeck23@aol.com
Research Institution
The Air Force needs a Robotic Drilling System (RDS) for drilling and countersinking holes in JSF inlet ducts. We propose a team to develop all elements of a complete RDS: Robot/Robotic Application; Drill End-Effector (DEE); Metrology System; Cutting Tools; and an Automatic Tool Changer. This proposal focuses on the DEE. We propose to develop a Vacuum Nose-Lock/DEE (VNL/DEE). Robots can accurately position drills, but robots lack rigidity required during drilling, so hole quality can be poor. Positive clamp-up forces can be used to increase structural rigidity. However, maximum allowable forces on ducts limit positive clamp-up forces and, therefore, rigidity and hole quality. Our VNL/DEE provides negative clamp-up forces that subtract from drilling forces to produce: small (or even NET-ZERO) forces on ducts; rigid structures; and precise holes. Our VNL/DEE has compact dimensions to access a high percentage of holes in JSF inlet ducts. In Phase I, we will demonstrate our VNL/DEE. In Phase II, we will: implement needed improvements; and fully develop our VNL/DEE and RDS for initial pilot production capability. In Phase III, our team will integrate our RDS for lab and full-scale milestones and production floor cell integration.

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

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