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Exoskeleton for Soldier Enhancement Systems Feasibility Study

Description: The development of a successful exoskeleton for human performance augmentation (EHPA) will require a multi-disciplinary systems approach based upon sound biomechanics, power generation and actuation systems, controls technology, and operator interfaces. The ability to integrate key components into a system that enhances performance without impeding operator mobility is essential. The purpose of this study and report are to address the issue of feasibility of building a fieldable EHPA. Previous efforts, while demonstrating progress and enhancing knowledge, have not approached the level required for a fully functional, fieldable system. It is doubtless that the technologies required for a successful exoskeleton have advanced, and some of them significantly. The question to be addressed in this report is have they advanced to the point of making a system feasible in the next three to five years? In this study, the key technologies required to successfully build an exoskeleton have been examined. The primary focus has been on the key technologies of power sources, actuators, and controls. Power sources, including internal combustion engines, fuel cells, batteries, super capacitors, and hybrid sources have been investigated and compared with respect to the exoskeleton application. Both conventional and non-conventional actuator technologies that could impact EHPA have been assessed. In addition to the current state of the art of actuators, the potential for near-term improvements using non-conventional actuators has also been addressed. Controls strategies, and their implication to the design approach, and the exoskeleton to soldier interface have also been investigated. In addition to these key subsystems and technologies, this report addresses technical concepts and issues relating to an integrated design. A recommended approach, based on the results of the study is also presented.
Date: September 28, 2000
Creator: Jansen, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Phase I Report: DARPA Exoskeleton Program

Description: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) inaugurated a program addressing research and development for an Exoskeleton for Human Performance Augmentation in FY!2001. A team consisting of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the prime contractor, AeroVironment, Inc., the Army Research Laboratory, the University of Minnesota, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute has recently completed an 18-month Phase I effort in support of this DARPA program. The Phase I effort focused on the development and proof-of-concept demonstrations for key enabling technologies, laying the foundation for subsequently building and demonstrating a prototype exoskeleton. The overall approach was driven by the need to optimize energy efficiency while providing a system that augmented the operator in as transparent manner as possible (non-impeding). These needs led to the evolution of two key distinguishing features of this team's approach. The first is the ''no knee contact'' concept. This concept is dependent on a unique Cartesian-based control scheme that uses force sensing at the foot and backpack attachments to allow the exoskeleton to closely follow the operator while avoiding the difficulty of connecting and sensing position at the knee. The second is an emphasis on energy efficiency manifested by an energetic, power, actuation and controls approach designed to enhance energy efficiency as well as a reconfigurable kinematic structure that provides a non-anthropomorphic configuration to support an energy saving long-range march/transport mode. The enabling technologies addressed in the first phase were controls and sensing, the soft tissue interface between the machine and the operator, the power system, and actuation. The controller approach was implemented and demonstrated on a test stand with an actual operator. Control stability, low operator fatigue, force amplification and the human interface were all successfully demonstrated, validating the controls approach. A unique, lightweight, low profile, multi-axis foot sensor (an integral element of the controls approach) was designed, ...
Date: January 21, 2004
Creator: Jansen, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Design, Analysis, Fabrication, and Testing of a Novel Piezoelectric Pump

Description: While there is a wide range of actuation technologies, none currently rivals the overall performance (power density, bandwidth, stress, stroke) of conventional hydraulic actuation. It is well known in the actuation community that the power-to-weight ratios and the power-to-volume ratios of hydraulic actuators are, respectively, around 5 times and 10 to 20 times larger than comparable electric motors. Due to fundamental limitations in the magnetic flux density in the supporting structures and limitations in the heat transfer out of electric actuators, significant changes in these ratios are not likely in the near future. Thermal limitations associated with electric motors do no apply to hydraulic actuators since the hydraulic fluid cools and lubricates the system. Hydraulic actuators are capable of holding a load without any energy expenditure, resilient to high impact loads, and typically do no need a transmission system. However, with all of these virtues, hydraulic actuators have serious practical implementation problems. Typically, hydraulic actuators have moderate to poor reliability when compared to electric actuators, leaky (at least in reputation), poor energy efficiencies and poor controllability due to either overlapping or underlapping in the spool of the control valves. This work addresses a new type of electric actuator that attempts to combine the best of both the electric and hydraulic mediums. Easy controllability as with electric actuators, scalability, and high power densities associated with hydraulics were the goals of this work.
Date: October 16, 2003
Creator: Jansen, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulically powered dissimilar teleoperated system controller design

Description: This paper will address two issues associated with the implementation of a hydraulically powered dissimilar master-slave teleoperated system. These issues are the overall system control architecture and the design of robust hydraulic servo controllers for the position control problem. Finally, a discussion of overall system performance on an actual teleoperated system will be presented.
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Jansen, J.F. & Kress, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control issues for a hydraulically powered dissimilar teleoperated system

Description: This paper will address two issues associated with the implementation of a hydraulically powered dissimilar master-slave teleoperated system. These issues are the overall system control architecture and the design of robust hydraulic servo controllers for the position control problem. Finally, a discussion of overall system performance on an actual teleoperated system will be presented. (Schilling`s Titan II hydraulic manipulators are the slave manipulators and the master manipulators are from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed Advanced Servo Manipulator.)
Date: December 1995
Creator: Jansen, J. F. & Kress, R. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long range position and Orientation Tracking System

Description: The long range Position and Orientation Tracking System is an active triangulation-based system that is being developed to track a target to a resolution of 6.35 mm (0.25 in.) and 0.009{degrees}(32.4 arcseconds) over a range of 13.72 m (45 ft.). The system update rate is currently set at 20 Hz but can be increased to 100 Hz or more. The tracking is accomplished by sweeping two pairs of orthogonal line lasers over infrared (IR) sensors spaced with known geometry with respect to one another on the target (the target being a rigid body attached to either a remote vehicle or a remote manipulator arm). The synchronization and data acquisition electronics correlates the time that an IR sensor has been hit by one of the four lasers and the angle of the respective mirror at the time of the hit. This information is combined with the known geometry of the IR sensors on the target to determine position and orientation of the target. This method has the advantage of allowing the target to be momentarily lost due to occlusions and then reacquired without having to return the target to a known reference point. The system also contains a camera with operator controlled lighting in each pod that allows the target to be continuously viewed from either pod, assuming their are no occlusions.
Date: February 1, 1996
Creator: Armstrong, G.A.; Jansen, J.F. & Burks, B.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modular robotics overview of the `state of the art`

Description: The design of a robotic arm processing modular components and reconfigurable links is the general goal of a modular robotics development program. The impetus behind the pursuit of modular design is the remote engineering paradigm of improved reliability and availability provided by the ability to remotely maintain and repair a manipulator operating in a hazardous environment by removing and replacing worn or failed modules. Failed components can service off- line and away from hazardous conditions. The desire to reconfigure an arm to perform different tasks is also an important driver for the development of a modular robotic manipulator. In order to bring to fruition a truly modular manipulator, an array of technical challenges must be overcome. These range from basic mechanical and electrical design considerations such as desired kinematics, actuator types, and signal and transmission types and routings, through controls issues such as the need for control algorithms capable of stable free space and contact control, to computer and sensor design issues like consideration of the use of embedded processors and redundant sensors. This report presents a brief overview of the state of the art of technical issues relevant of modular robotic arm design. The focus is on breadth of coverage, rather than depth, in order to provide a reference frame for future development.
Date: August 1, 1996
Creator: Kress, R.L.; Jansen, J.F. & Hamel, W.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control and Analysis of a Single-Link Flexible Beam with Experimental Verification

Description: The objective of this report is to ascertain the general conditions for the avoidance and reduction of residual vibration in a flexible manipulator. Conventional manipulators usually have a 1.5 to 2-m reach, and their associated dynamic models typically are composed of lumped parameter elements; the major compliance emanates from the, drive trains because of torsional loading effects. The energy storage of the drive system is predominantly potential energy because of the low inertia in the drive tram; thus simple spring models have been adequate. A long-reach manipulator with a large aspect ratio (length to diameter) is a fundamentally different problem. Energy storage for this type of manipulator is distributive by nature because of the potential energy resulting from bending and the kinetic energy due to deflection rates. Instead of ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations are required to describe this system, making the analysis more difficult. The general flexibility problem associated with a distributive dynamic system, with specific emphasis on flexible manipulator, will be addressed in this report. Furthermore, three control schemes will be discussed and demonstrated on, a single flexible manipulator to determine their general merits.
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Jansen, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long range position and orientation tracking system

Description: The long range position and orientation tracking system (LRPOTS) will consist of two measurement pods, a VME-based computer system, and a detector array. The system is used to measure the position and orientation of a target that may be attached to a robotic arm, teleoperated manipulator, or autonomous vehicle. The pods have been designed to be mounted in the man-ways of the domes of the Fernald K-65 waste silos. Each pod has two laser scanner subsystems as well as lights and camera systems. One of the laser scanners will be oriented to scan in the pan direction, the other in the tilt direction. As the lasers scan across the detector array, the angles of incidence with each detector are recorded. Combining measurements from each of the four lasers yields sufficient data for a closed-form solution of the transform describing the location and orientation of the Content Mobilization System (CMS). Redundant detectors will be placed on the CMS to accommodate occlusions, to provide improved measurement accuracy, and to determine the CMS orientation.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Armstrong, G.A.; Jansen, J.F.; Burks, B.L.; Bernacki, B.E. & Nypaver, D.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control of flexible robots with prismatic joints and hydraulic drives

Description: The design and control of long-reach, flexible manipulators has been an active research topic for over 20 years. Most of the research to date has focused on single link, fixed length, single plane of vibration test beds. In addition, actuation has been predominantly based upon electromagnetic motors. Ironically, these elements are rarely found in the existing industrial long-reach systems. One example is the Modified Light Duty Utility Arm (MLDUA) designed and built by Spar Aerospace for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This arm operates in larger, underground waste storage tanks located at ORNL. The size and nature of the tanks require that the robot have a reach of approximately 15 ft and a payload capacity of 250 lb. In order to achieve these criteria, each joint is hydraulically actuated. Furthermore, the robot has a prismatic degree-of-freedom to ease deployment. When fully extended, the robot`s first natural frequency is 1.76 Hz. Many of the projected tasks, coupled with the robot`s flexibility, present an interesting problem. How will many of the existing flexure control algorithms perform on a hydraulic, long-reach manipulator with prismatic links? To minimize cost and risk of testing these algorithms on the MLDUA, the authors have designed a new test bed that contains many of the same elements. This manuscript described a new hydraulically actuated, long-reach manipulator with a flexible prismatic link at ORNL. Focus is directed toward both modeling and control of hydraulic actuators as well as flexible links that have variable natural frequencies.
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Love, L.J.; Kress, R.L. & Jansen, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic manipulator research at ORNL

Description: Recently, task requirements have dictated that manipulator payload capacity increase to accommodate greater payloads, greater manipulator length, and larger environmental interaction forces. General tasks such as waste storage tank cleanup and facility dismantlement and decommissioning require manipulator life capacities in the range of hundreds of pounds rather than tens of pounds. To meet the increased payload capacities demanded by present-day tasks, manipulator designers have turned once again to hydraulics as a means of actuation. In order to successfully design, build, and deploy a new hydraulic manipulator (or subsystem), sophisticated modeling, analysis, and control experiments are usually needed. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has a history of projects that incorporate hydraulics technology, including mobile robots, teleoperated manipulators, and full-scale construction equipment. In addition, to support the development and deployment of new hydraulic manipulators, ORNL has outfitted a significant experimental laboratory and has developed the software capability for research into hydraulic manipulators, hydraulic actuators, hydraulic systems, modeling of hydraulic systems, and hydraulic controls. The purpose of this article is to describe the past hydraulic manipulator developments and current hydraulic manipulator research capabilities at ORNL. Included are example experimental results from ORNL`s flexible/prismatic test stand.
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Kress, R.L.; Jansen, J.F. & Love, L.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The evolution of teleoperated manipulators at ORNL

Description: ORNL has made significant contributions to teleoperator and telerobotics technology for two decades and continues with an aggressive program today. Examples of past projects are: (1) the M2 servomanipulator, which was the first digitally controlled teleoperator; (2) the Advanced Servomanipulator (ASM), which was the first remotely maintainable teleoperator; (3) the CESARm/Kraft dissimilar teleoperated system; and (4) the Laboratory Telerobotic Manipulator (LTM), a 7-Degree-of-Freedom (7-DOF) telerobot built as a prototype for work in space. More recently, ORNL has become heavily involved with Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (ERWM) robotics programs funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). The ERWM program requires high payloads and high dexterity. As a result, a hydraulically actuated, dual-arm system comprised of two 6-DOF arms mounted on a 5-DOF base has been constructed and is being used today for various research tasks and for decontamination and dismantlement activities. All of these teleoperated manipulator systems build upon the experiences gained throughout the almost two decades of development. Each system incorporates not only the latest technology in computers, sensors, and electronics, but each new . system also adds at least one new feature to the technologies already developed and demonstrated in the previous system(s). As a result of this process, a serious study of these manipulator systems is a study in the evolution of teleoperated manipulator the systems in general. This provides insight not only into the research and development paths chosen in the past, but also into the appropriate directions for future teleoperator and telerobotics research. This paper examines each of the teleoperated/telerobotic systems developed at ORNL, summarizes their features and capabilities, examines the state of the most current telerobotic system (the Dual Arm Work Module), PM provides direction for a Next Generation Telerobotic Manipulator system.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Kress, R.L.; Jansen, J.F.; Noakes, M.W. & Herndon, J.N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic manipulator design, analysis, and control at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Description: To meet the increased payload capacities demanded by present-day tasks, manipulator designers have turned to hydraulics as a means of actuation. Hydraulics have always been the actuator of choice when designing heavy-life construction and mining equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, and tunneling devices. In order to successfully design, build, and deploy a new hydraulic manipulator (or subsystem) sophisticated modeling, analysis, and control experiments are usually needed. To support the development and deployment of new hydraulic manipulators Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has outfitted a significant experimental laboratory and has developed the software capability for research into hydraulic manipulators, hydraulic actuators, hydraulic systems, modeling of hydraulic systems, and hydraulic controls. The hydraulics laboratory at ORNL has three different manipulators. First is a 6-Degree-of-Freedom (6-DoF), multi-planer, teleoperated, flexible controls test bed used for the development of waste tank clean-up manipulator controls, thermal studies, system characterization, and manipulator tracking. Finally, is a human amplifier test bed used for the development of an entire new class of teleoperated systems. To compliment the hardware in the hydraulics laboratory, ORNL has developed a hydraulics simulation capability including a custom package to model the hydraulic systems and manipulators for performance studies and control development. This paper outlines the history of hydraulic manipulator developments at ORNL, describes the hydraulics laboratory, discusses the use of the equipment within the laboratory, and presents some of the initial results from experiments and modeling associated with these hydraulic manipulators. Included are some of the results from the development of the human amplifier/de-amplifier concepts, the characterization of the thermal sensitivity of hydraulic systems, and end-point tracking accuracy studies. Experimental and analytical results are included.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Kress, R.L.; Jansen, J.F.; Love, L.J. & Basher, A.M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Next Generation Munitions Handler: Human-Machine Interface and Preliminary Performance Evaluation

Description: The Next Generation Munitions Handler/Advanced Technology Demonstrator (NGMI-VATTD) is a technology demonstrator for the application of an advanced robotic device for re-arming U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Navy (USN) tactical fighters. It comprises two key hardware components: a heavy-lift dexterous manipulator (HDM) and a nonholonomic mobility platform. The NGMWATTD is capable of lifting weapons up to 4400 kg (2000 lb) and placing them on any weapons rack on existing fighters (including the F-22 Raptor). This report describes the NGMH mission with particular reference to human-machine interfaces. It also describes preliminary testing to garner feedback about the heavy-lift manipulator arm from experienced fighter load crewmen. The purpose of the testing was to provide preliminary information about control system parameters and to gather feed- back from users about manipulator arm functionality. To that end, the Air Force load crewmen interacted with the NGMWATTD in an informal testing session and provided feedback about the performance of the system. Certain con- trol system parameters were changed during the course of the testing and feedback from the participants was used to make a rough estimate of "good" initial operating parameters. Later, formal testing will concentrate within this range to identify optimal operating parameters. User reactions to the HDM were generally positive, All of the USAF personnel were favorably impressed with the capabilities of the system. Fine-tuning operating parameters created a system even more favorably regarded by the load crews. Further adjustment to control system parameters will result in a system that is operationally efficient, easy to use, and well accepted by users.
Date: April 25, 1999
Creator: Draper, J.V.; Jansen, J.F.; Pin, F.G. & Rowe, J.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department