Low Noise, High Efficiency Hydraulics for Mobile Robots

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