Automated Shipboard Build-up of Customized Pallet Loads

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-11-C-0408
Agency Tracking Number: N101-091-0510
Amount: $1,250,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solitcitation Year: 2010
Solitcitation Topic Code: N101-091
Solitcitation Number: 2010.1
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
 Andreas Hofmann
 VP, Autonomous Solutions
 (617) 864-0636
Business Contact
 Michael Bearman
Title: VP/General Counsel
Phone: (240) 965-4500
Research Institution
This Phase II project intends to develop a mobile automated palletizing robot, the RPR1, that combines a commercial electric pallet truck with a hydraulically powered manipulation platform. Phase I work developed designs for the RPR1 morphology; a preliminary system architecture for automating low-level manipulation and maneuver tasks, pallet assembly planning algorithms for optimal packing configurations that observe fragility and stability constraints, simulation testing of robot morphology suitability for pallet assembly tasks, and preliminary pallet assembly task planning algorithms; and an initial prototype for a computer vision system using 3D color-based visual information to inform manipulation and manuever tasks. Phase II work will implement a semi-autonomous control system that converts high-level operator input into goal-based parameters which inform the automation of low-level robot actuation; design and fabricate the manipulation prototype and integrate it with the electric pallet jack mobility base; and implement vision algorithms for detection and characterization of packages to develop 3D models which are used in manipulation and maneuver tasks.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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