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Proceedings Paper

Door breaching robotic manipulator
Author(s): Erik Schoenfeld; Lawrence Parrington; Stephan von Muehlen
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Paper Abstract

As unmanned systems become more commonplace in military, police, and other security forces, they are tasked to perform missions that the original hardware was not designed for. Current military robots are built for rough outdoor conditions and have strong inflexible manipulators designed to handle a wide range of operations. However, these manipulators are not well suited for some essential indoor tasks, including opening doors. This is a complicated kinematic task that places prohibitively difficult control challenges on the robot and the operator. Honeybee and iRobot have designed a modular door-breaching manipulator that mechanically simplifies the demands upon operator and robot. The manipulator connects to the existing robotic arm of the iRobot PackBot EOD. The gripper is optimized for grasping a variety of door knobs, levers, and car-door handles. It works in conjunction with a compliant wrist and magnetic lock-out mechanism that allows the wrist to remain rigid until the gripper has a firm grasp of the handle and then bend with its rotation and the swing of the door. Once the door is unlatched, the operator simply drives the robot through the doorway while the wrist compensates for the complex, multiple degree-of-freedom motion of the door. Once in the doorway the operator releases the handle, the wrist pops back into place, and the robot is ready for the next door. The new manipulator dramatically improves a robot's ability to non-destructively breach doors and perform an inspection of a room's content, a capability that was previously out of reach of unmanned systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 April 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6962, Unmanned Systems Technology X, 69620S (16 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778135
Show Author Affiliations
Erik Schoenfeld, iRobot Corp. (United States)
Lawrence Parrington, Honeybee Robotics (United States)
Stephan von Muehlen, Honeybee Robotics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6962:
Unmanned Systems Technology X
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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