DARPA is investing in a pneumatic robot for military


23/08/2012

In military operations, in addition to fighting arises themselves need to perform a variety of tasks. The U.S. government hopes that robots will reduce the burden on soldiers. That’s why DARPA’s defense (DARPA) is investing in so many projects aimed at developing robots that can carry heavy loads, defuse bombs and cross minefields. In the past, these studies have focused on the development of bulky robots for heavy duty applications.

Now, DARPA began investing in small, lightweight robots that can perform tactical tasks together with the soldiers. The agency is going to give the company iRobot (creator Roomba) $ 625,000 for the development of the pneumatic robotic arm that can raise and lower things, and does not harm the soldiers at the meeting.

In war, there are situations when the robot should, for example, to jump out of hiding and grabbed the grenade to throw, take it to a safe distance. The problem is that conventional robots too cumbersome and heavy to carry soldiers and can not themselves follow soldiers as dogs because the slow and consume much energy. It became clear that the need to develop something easy that can fit in a soldier’s backpack.

That’s why DARPA was engaged in the development of a pneumatic robot which uses air pressure to compress and lifting objects. The result of their efforts was a prototype called Advanced Inflatable Robot, or AIR. The pneumatic arm is mounted on an unmanned ground vehicles and inflated on the team, and then grabs the objects of different shapes, from tin cans to the handle of a diplomat.

Although the project is still in the development stage, AIR prototype weighs only 230 grams, is also able to lift objects weighing up to 1.3 kg. For comparison, heavier robots, able to lift the weight, not exceeding the proportion of their own weight.

Original: Phys.org


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