SBIR Phase II: Combining Mobility and Manipulation in a Tri-Sphere Robot

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0923850
Agency Tracking Number: 0740231
Amount: $498,695.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
3135 Mallard Road, Jackson, WY, 83001
DUNS: 128363145
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Viola
 (307) 734-0211
Business Contact
 Robert Viola
Title: MS
Phone: (307) 734-0211
Research Institution
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II research project seeks to develop a radically new type of mobile robot. Most of today?s robots rely on wheels to move from one location to another but the proposed Tri-Sphere robot moves by walking. This form of locomotion provides distinct advantages when the robot is called upon to negotiate cluttered terrain. The Tri-Sphere robot interacts with its environment via a unique six degree-of-freedom parallel manipulator. This manipulator allows the robot to dig, grasp and carry objects with exceptional dexterity. An important feature of the robot?s design is that both its manipulator and its legs are driven by the same suite of six electric motors. This intrinsic mechanical simplicity results in an extremely robust mechanism well suited for dirty, difficult jobs. The broader impact of this research is the creation of a new class of robots designed to combat the threat posed by land mines and other explosive devices. It is estimated that more than 60 million mines are in place throughout the world. The Tri-Sphere robot will provide a safe, reliable means of locating, unearthing and disposing of this unexplored ordnance. In addition, the Tri-Sphere design can be scaled to create versions of the robot tailored to the demands of mining, underwater trenching and other complex material handling operations that must be conducted in hazardous environments.

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

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