1999 Projects: ROV improvements
Interchangeable end effector
The nature of the sub-sea environment (high pressure and a corrosive medium) makes the task of tool changing especially challenging. The current state of technology for sub-sea robotics includes a manipulator "arm" equipped with an end effector, or "hand," which is typically a robust, one-function jaw mechanism. Land-based robotic manipulators have an additional capability that enables the "arm" to change the tooling at the work site and perform multiple tasks. This capability to change the end-effector tooling expands the functionality of the manipulator and increases the number of tasks that can be accomplished by the system.
This project will take the first step in simplifying the job of tool changing by limiting the current electrical-hydraulic-mechanical interface requirement to a strictly mechanical one. This can be accomplished within the end-effector tooling itself, by incorporating the hydraulic and/or electrical power on the tool itself instead of channeling the power directly through the arm. Once a reliable, effective coupling mechanism is designed and tested, individual end-effectors can be designed to meet the common interface, and an array of tools can be made available to the user.
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Last updated: 07 October 2004