High Consequence, Automation, & Robotics (HCAR) has a long history of automating robots for difficult manipulation tasks. Leveraging Sandia-developed sensor technologies to locate objects in the environment coupled with automated motion planners and force sensing and control technologies has enabled the development of advanced robot manipulators that can move to desired locations, perform safe interactions with hazardous materials, and can even perform fine manipulation tasks such as opening doors and performing surgery.
Sandia has developed a cost-effective robotic hand that can be used in disarming Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. The Sandia Hand addresses challenges that have prevented widespread adoption of other robotic hands, such as cost, durability, dexterity and modularity.
A 600-pound, five-foot-long robot, now known as M2, rolls on treads, maneuvers around obstacles, and has a long, multi-jointed gripper arm. It has the dexterity to reach into awkward places and apply force to drills and screwdrivers. It remembers positions, important in starting with tools at the right height and depth.