Exchangeable end effectors for the army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot

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Virginia Tech


Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) is assigned the mission to render safe and/or dispose of any device, conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical, or improvised, that may cause injury to personnel or damage to property. Teleoperated mobile robots have been fielded to make the job of the EOD soldier less hazardous. The current model in use is the Security Explosive Ordnance Disposal (SEOD) robot. The future model is the RCT Rover. These robots are designed to specifically target improvised explosive devices (IEDs) -- homemade bombs. With their present design these robots have limited capabilities. Only one gripper, which is bolted onto the end of the arm, is provided.

It was the objective of the research to take the first step toward increasing the flexibility of this robot by applying technology which presently exists in the industrial robotics area. A feasibility study was proposed which considered both hardware and control issues of proposed changes. A quick exchange device was proposed as well as numerous end effectors to make the robot more adaptable to any given situation. Control and feedback system issues was also investigated that allowed the telerobot to have autonomous control during the end effector interchange sequence.