Energid Technologies Software Applies Actin Dexterous Control For Heavy-Lift Arm

Cambridge, Massachusetts (August 26, 2010) — Black-I Robotics is developing a series of powerful robotic arms for its innovative multi-payload LandShark base. Through a recent collaboration agreement, Energid Technologies will be providing control and simulation for these arms with its Actin software toolkit and grasping algorithms. Black-I’s heavy-lift arms, when coupled with Energid’s control software, will offer a wide range of manipulation capabilities including explosive ordnance disposal, vehicle inspection, logistics support, and hazardous materials handling, and unexploded ordnance retrieval.

Energid’s software provides control and simulation of robotic systems that perform complex mission-critical tasks. With only a CAD model, a roboticist can create a powerful control system and immediately test it in simulation. The software supports fixed and mobile robots with any number of moving parts and virtually any kind of articulation. Energid’s Actin software optimizes robot motion for strength, improves accuracy, reduces joint torque, recovers from hardware errors, avoids joint limits, and avoids collisions. Energid’s software also provides easy scripting of complex grasping and manipulation tasks. It enables a mobile robot arm to reach though a vehicle window and safely lift and manipulate objects inside.

Exchangeable actuator models include friction, flexibility, power consumption, and torque and speed limits. Articulation dynamics are available through algorithms tailored for fast application to different families of robots. This allows both rapid design iteration and robust deployment of control algorithms on new mobile robots and dexterous arms. Impact dynamics use multiple contact models, configurable surface properties, and fast and accurate impact detection and response.

“With its 200 lb lift and 8 degrees of freedom, Black-I’s new robot arm has the strength and articulation needed to reach around obstacles and manipulate heavy objects in tight spaces,” says David Askey, Chief Business Development Officer at Energid. “Actin control enables safe and fluid control of the arm, whether for reaching into vehicles for explosive detection or for digging up and grasping unexploded ordnance.

“With interchangeable end-effectors and a reach of 120 inches upward or 40 inches below ground level, the new LandShark arm will perform critical detection and object manipulation for surveillance, hazardous materials handling, and explosives clearance,” says Brian Hart, President of Black-I Robotics. “Actin will enable rapid integration and robust control of new end effectors to let customers quickly tailor the LandShark for new tasks.”

About Black-I Robotics

Black-I, founded in 2005, produces strong, fast, affordable unmanned ground vehicles for defense, homeland security, hazmat, mine clearance, and perimeter surveillance. Black-I’s LandShark UGV is designed to readily accommodate new sensor, cargo, and manipulation payloads. For more information, please visit their website.