On the FIELD robot, the RT-MAN subsystem is designed, for the dexterous grasping and powerful manipulation, using a novel multiple degrees-of-freedom manipulator arm. The arm is developed within the Humanoids and Human Centered Mechatronics (HHCM) lab of the IIT. It is capable of attaching task-dedicated end-effectors, e.g., hand end-effectors, etc. The manipulator arm, with sufficient reach and dexterity, is mounted to the front part of the RT-NAV robot. It includes technologies to:
- Physically grasp and manipulate objects designed for humans
- Powerfully lift or manipulate objects in the environment
- Robustly adapt to challenges in the physical interaction
For the manipulation to be effective and useful while operating within an unstructured workspace, the robotic arm and its end-effector should have the ability to manipulate the environment and use a wide range of tools and interfaces designed for human use. This implies certain requirements for the power of the robotic manipulator and its ability to generate significant forces and moments while operating tools or contacting and manipulating the environment. The adaptability of the manipulator to tools and interfaces with different shapes and operation functionalities is critical.