Linear actuator gives bomb disposal robot extra lift
08 March 2013
A high performance linear actuator from HT Servo has been deployed in a new generation of robots for explosive ordnance disposal.
The Cutlass vehicles, developed by Coventry-based firm Remotec UK, will be used by the MoD for anti-terrorism operations worldwide. Capable of accommodating a wide range of payloads, sensors and tools, they offer mobility on all types of hard and soft terrain and in all weather conditions, including floods.
All motion axes, including the six drive wheels on the Cutlass, are electrically driven, powered by an on-board Lithium ion rechargeable battery. The manipulator arm is equipped with a state of the art gripper and has nine degrees of freedom for greater movement and agility inside limited spaces, such as the interior of a car.
The actuator is used to lift the whole robotic arm to provide extra power to the internal base axis rotator gear, maximising its performance and helping counteract the turning moment created when a load is experienced with the arm in an extended position.
"This sort of project usually requires a bespoke solution," says David Baillie of HT Servo. "We worked closely with the Remotec design team to identify maximum loads, speed requirements and other operating parameters. The best outcome would be to customise a standard actuator, as this
would help contain costs. Fortunately the Thomson Electrak LA14 fitted the bill nicely, although we paired it with an extra powerful motor and made a few other modifications commensurate with the likely operating conditions of the Cutlass."
The actuator is based on a screw
drive system so is suitable for
applications requiring maximum load
capacity. It is also designed to offer
robust reliable performance over a long
life. As an additional benefit it has a
built-in anti-rotation mechanism, while
its aluminium cover tube is both
tough and lightweight.