Blacki’s ARM has been through many iterations. Its original purpose was to protect against improvised explosive devices as an integral supplement to the Landshark UGV. The Arm can still accomplish that important mission, but it has undergone dramatic improvements and as a standalone product can perform a variety of applications, from Defense force protection to construction to warehouse tasks.
Today’s arm, delivered first to the Army Corps of Engineers to assist the Corp’s efforts in 3D construction, is unique. It’s particularly strong for its size, with the capability to lift up to 45 kg compared to most comparable arms, which can lift up to 5 kg. It has 8 degrees of freedom plus the gripper, which can grasp objects a foot in width. It has the ability to reach vertically more than 11 feet, , more than three feet below ground and at least 6 feet horizontally.
To overcome the common problem of depth perception operating a robotic system, the ARM now has the capability to add multiple cameras and various IR and sonar sensors. It is fully computer controlled and can be mounted or dismounted from a vehicle literally in minutes. This means that it can be mounted on a large variety of manned and unmanned vehicles, including trucks, backhoes, fork lifts and others.
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