Response robots are required to perform tasks in disaster environments, which demands dexterous object manipulation and accurate target detection. During my undergrad research at Advanced Mobile Robotics Laboratory, I designed a 6-DOF arm made of rotational and prismatic joints for these types of robots. Our goal was to develop a robot arm to enable users easily detect and manipulate objects while navigating the mobile robot within the environment.
For this reason, I followed a compact design with independent links that can rapidly be removed for new equipment or even replaced for maintenance. I picked the main structure entirely made of aluminum and carbon fiber, which delivers optimal robustness and durability as well as a cutting-edge look-and-feel. This arm can have two different types of grippers at the end-effector: jaw-opening and parallel gripping mechanisms, and the grippers’ fingers have friction pads that allow semi-adaptive grasping. We also added an inspection module (i.e., cameras, sensors, communication devices) to the arm to facilitate object detection. Finally, our team fully implemented all the communication and control units with customized electrical boards.