RE2 has declared that DARPA has chosen their company to build a dual-arm robot and its associated software simulation tool for the Outreach Track of the four-year Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program.
The ARM program focuses on launching a new software and hardware for enabling a robot to automatically grab and handle objects for carrying out tough operations, requiring a human to provide only advanced instructions.
Procuring multiple manipulator devices featuring sophisticated perception sensors for R&D applications involves huge cost. Hence, DARPA decided to develop an ARM research platform, which can be used by all scientists.
After developing sensing and controlling algorithms, the simulator can be used to investigate, validate and gather data. The scientists can also utilize the simulator to find and remove errors before implementing the algorithms on the real dual-arm robot. Since the ingenious resource of the dual-arm will be used by all developers nationwide, a software tool is required by scientists for algorithm verification.
Douglas Peters, Project Manager of the Track-C Simulator Project, has stated that offering common access to such an efficient robotic platform is an exceptional initiative, enabling students and scientists to access robotics resources. He added that the simulator will be interfaced by people exactly as they would handle a research robot.
According to Dr. Patrick Rowe, Vice President of Research and Development for RE2, opportunities for implementing synchronized bi-manual manipulation will be significantly enhanced by offering a common sophisticated software simulation tool to all participants of the ARM program.
The outreach track of DARPA enables all the participants of the ARM program to write, analyze and upload their software to the real dual-arm robot. The execution of the software by the robot can be observed through the internet. Participating teams of the outreach track can partner with other similar teams located in any part of the world.
Jorgen Pedersen, President and CEO of RE2, has mentioned that RE2 serves as a system integrator for the outreach track and they have supplied the dual-arm robotic platforms to the research teams of the ARM Program.