Low Noise, High Efficiency Hydraulics for Mobile Robots

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
D11PC20083
Agency Tracking Number:
10SB3-0014
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
SB103-001
Solicitation Number:
2010.3
Small Business Information
Vecna Technologies Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 500, Greenbelt, MD, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
094078958
Principal Investigator:
Daniel Theobald
CTO
(617) 674-8245
theo@vecna.com
Business Contact:
Mike Bearman
VP/General Counsel
(617) 864-0636
mbearman@vecna.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
The next generation of high-degree-of-freedom robots require not only significant strength but efficient, quiet operation and effective control policies if they are to perform to expectations. Vecna proposes a systems approach that includes Smart Hydraulic Actuator (SHA) technology, an intelligent Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU), and intelligent control to vastly improve hydraulic efficiency and reduce the noise profile without significantly impacting other performance parameters. This approach has been shown in preliminary analysis and bench-top component testing to allow for at least a two-fold improvement in energy efficiency over the conventional approach and a corresponding two-fold improvement in noise. As hydraulics research stagnated several decades ago, there is substantial room for innovation and improvement over the current state-of-the-art. It is clear that hydraulics will be the technology of choice wherever high power density mobility or manipulation are needed, hence the long-standing limitations of hydraulics should be addressed as proposed herein.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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