Army Chemical Review

SUMMER 2013

Army Chemical Review presents professional information about Chemical Corps functions related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, smoke, flame, and civil support operations.

Issue link: http://chemical.epubxp.com/i/141522

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 17 of 67

In conjunction with a small-business partner in California, ECBC is also working on the development of a second hardware add-on that can integrate the results of existing feld assays with an archive available within the biosurveillance community. The use of an electronic database that can be interpreted by any individual who has access signifcantly reduces the need for additional heavy (and expensive) equipment. Placing the technology in the hands of the Soldier negates the requirement for separate computers to run the various components of advanced analysis. Partnership With the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory What began as a student project for a doctorate degree at the University of Maryland has evolved into a collaboration between the university, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, An ECBC engineering technician produces self-sealing suction cup and ECBC. The student, who is also an Army prototypes. Research Laboratory robotic manipulation "When something like Fukushima1 happens, it would be researcher, is testing the limits of robotic grasping while very useful if the robots that are sent in could perform some pursuing an advanced degree in mechanical engineering. Under sort of manipulation activity like closing a valve, recovering an the guidance of a university professor, the student has designed object, or operating a tool in a contaminated area," the doctoral an octopus-inspired, self-sealing suction cup, which expands candidate said. "Even opening a door or a hatch could allow the range of object sizes and shapes that can be grasped by the robot to better observe what's going on inside the reactor a robot. The new technology, which could be incorporated while eliminating the risk of exposing people to radiation." on robots designed to perform tasks in unstructured and ECBC expertise in rapid prototype manufacturing enabled contaminated environments, is expected to enhance emergency response operations. More effective robots would reduce the the student to craft and modify multiple generations of the suchuman risk factor associated with assessments of dangerous tion cup. The suction cup features a plug that nominally sits in the suction inlet to maximize the suction strength. When sites devastated by natural or man-made disasters. the source pump is turned on, the plug of any cup that is not in contact with an object gets sucked in, sealing itself. This increases the pressure differential and strengthens the suction capability of the cups that are engaged on an object. According to an ECBC engineering technician and senior model maker, the biggest challenge of the project was designing the cups to be as small as possible while ensuring that they remained functional. ECBC used a multimaterial, three-dimensional printer to design numerous prototypes composed of elastomeric or rigid materials. About 20 prototypes consisting of various shapes and sizes, ranging from the point of a fngertip to the palm of a hand, could be designed in 20 minutes. These fngertip-size suction cups are used to robotically grasp objects. 16 The collaborative effort between ECBC, the University of Maryland, and the Army Research Laboratory demonstrates a desire to share resources, improve technology, and make use of available expertise. Army Chemical Review

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Army Chemical Review - SUMMER 2013