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A CHIMP Can Do This Job!

31 Jul 2013
Rob Whitlock

The tragic earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that devastated the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan just over 2 years ago points to a great potential use of evolving robotics technology.  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created a competition among industry called the Robotics Challenge.  The challenge is to develop robotics technology that can eventually replace the need for humans to don those highly fashionable and comfortable hazmat suits as they go into very dangerous environments to keep a bad situation from growing worse.

In similar fashion to past collaboration between industry and university (reference blog on the VT BOLT project), Kollmorgen is pleased to be a contributing partner to the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC)/Carnegie Mellon University team for their technology entry called the CHIMP.  However, this particular chimp does not eat bananas or reside in a tropical rainforest.  CHIMP stands for CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform and is the NREC/Carnegie Mellon Tartan Rescue team's solution for the competition. 

The DARPA project objectives require the robots to perform some pretty remarkable things such as drive a utility vehicle to site, dismount and go over or remove rubble blocking entryways, open doors, climb ladders, traverse walkways, breakthrough solid surfaces as needed, locate and close leaking valves, and replace components.


Carnegie Mellon University Tartan Rescue project page:

 Kollmorgen is providing custom frameless motor part sets that will actuate the robot's 50 degrees of freedom.  Frameless direct-drive motors are excellent candidates for robotics applications as compared to classical housed servo motors.  Advantages include improved accuracy and performance, a more compact design package, higher reliability and lower life-cycle costs.

It's great to be part of a team that is applying innovative technologies focused on serving the greater good and creating safer work environments.


About the Author

Rob Whitlock

Rob Whitlock - Author
Rob has been with Kollmorgen for 10 years working in various Applications Engineering, Sales, and Product Line Management roles. His hobbies include reading, wood turning, coaching/watching his kids play sports and spending time in the great outdoors. Rob can be reached at [email protected]
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