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Title: A MODULAR ACTUATOR ARCHITECTURE FOR ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS

Abstract

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) Complexes perform numerous hazardous material handling operations within the confines of a glovebox. The DOE is continuing to seek more efficient and safer means of handling these materials inside gloveboxes rather than the conventional, labor-intensive method through lead lined gloves. The use of glovebox automation technology will also be critical to the DOE in its efforts to comply with its mandated ALARA principles in handling the hazardous materials associated with the cleanup process. Operations associated with materials processing in a glovebox are similar to many industrial tasks, but the unique glovebox environment and Plutonium material properties create a unique set of challenges for conventional automation machinery. Such properties include: Low to moderate levels of ionizing radiation, high abrasiveness, corrosiveness, pyrophoric tendencies, rapid dispersal and permeation of environment, diffuses quickly, and possible incompatible material interaction. The glovebox presents the following challenges: existing gloveboxes may not be readily altered or even modified at all, complex mechanical operations for maintenance and repair are difficult or impossible through gloves, failed equipment may not be removed easily or at all. If a broken piece of equipment cannot be bagged-out through a glove port (approximately 216 mm (8 1/2more » inch) diameter) it must remain in place. Broken equipment obstructs further operations. If it renders the entire glovebox unusable, a significant volume of waste is generated and an expensive system must be disposed of and replaced. A moderate sized glovebox alone costs between $250,000 and $500,000 and an equipment malfunction, which penetrates the glovebox and exposes the room to Plutonium or other toxic materials, is catastrophic. In addition to the human exposure issues, cleanup can easily run into the millions of dollars. A solution to the issues described above is ARM Automation Inc.'s (ARM) modular robotic manipulator technology developed for DOE EM operations, which addresses many of the issues discussed in the previous section. This manipulator system has the capability of custom configurations, which accommodate common glovebox tasks such as materials repackaging. The modular nature and quick connects of this system simplify installations into ''hot'' boxes and any potential modifications or repair therein. In the field of automation and robotics, a very common element is one used to generate motion for precise positioning of loads. One example of such an automation component would be an individual joint within an industrial robotic manipulator. This component consists of a tightly integrated package containing an electric motor, gear train, output support bearings, position sensors, brake, servo-amplifier and communications controller. Within the context of this paper, this key building block is referred to as an actuator module. With regard to the needs of the EM, [8] and [9] have shown that while each focus area has unique requirements for robotic automation at a system or manipulator level, their requirements at the actuator level are very similar. Thereby, a modular approach to automation which utilizes a small set of versatile actuator modules can be used to construct a broad range of robotic systems and automation cells suited to EM applications. By providing a pre-engineered, pre-integrated motion system to different robotics users within the DOE, new automation systems can be more quickly created without extensive expertise in motion control or the expense of building custom equipment.« less

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Arm Automation, Inc. (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
(US)
OSTI Identifier:
807871
DOE Contract Number:  
AR26-98FT40371
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Jul 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; ROBOTS; ACTUATORS; DESIGN; GLOVEBOXES; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; IONIZING RADIATIONS; PLUTONIUM; MODULAR STRUCTURES

Citation Formats

. A MODULAR ACTUATOR ARCHITECTURE FOR ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/807871.
. A MODULAR ACTUATOR ARCHITECTURE FOR ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS. United States. doi:10.2172/807871.
. Sun . "A MODULAR ACTUATOR ARCHITECTURE FOR ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS". United States. doi:10.2172/807871. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/807871.
@article{osti_807871,
title = {A MODULAR ACTUATOR ARCHITECTURE FOR ROBOTIC APPLICATIONS},
author = {},
abstractNote = {The United States Department of Energy (DOE) Complexes perform numerous hazardous material handling operations within the confines of a glovebox. The DOE is continuing to seek more efficient and safer means of handling these materials inside gloveboxes rather than the conventional, labor-intensive method through lead lined gloves. The use of glovebox automation technology will also be critical to the DOE in its efforts to comply with its mandated ALARA principles in handling the hazardous materials associated with the cleanup process. Operations associated with materials processing in a glovebox are similar to many industrial tasks, but the unique glovebox environment and Plutonium material properties create a unique set of challenges for conventional automation machinery. Such properties include: Low to moderate levels of ionizing radiation, high abrasiveness, corrosiveness, pyrophoric tendencies, rapid dispersal and permeation of environment, diffuses quickly, and possible incompatible material interaction. The glovebox presents the following challenges: existing gloveboxes may not be readily altered or even modified at all, complex mechanical operations for maintenance and repair are difficult or impossible through gloves, failed equipment may not be removed easily or at all. If a broken piece of equipment cannot be bagged-out through a glove port (approximately 216 mm (8 1/2 inch) diameter) it must remain in place. Broken equipment obstructs further operations. If it renders the entire glovebox unusable, a significant volume of waste is generated and an expensive system must be disposed of and replaced. A moderate sized glovebox alone costs between $250,000 and $500,000 and an equipment malfunction, which penetrates the glovebox and exposes the room to Plutonium or other toxic materials, is catastrophic. In addition to the human exposure issues, cleanup can easily run into the millions of dollars. A solution to the issues described above is ARM Automation Inc.'s (ARM) modular robotic manipulator technology developed for DOE EM operations, which addresses many of the issues discussed in the previous section. This manipulator system has the capability of custom configurations, which accommodate common glovebox tasks such as materials repackaging. The modular nature and quick connects of this system simplify installations into ''hot'' boxes and any potential modifications or repair therein. In the field of automation and robotics, a very common element is one used to generate motion for precise positioning of loads. One example of such an automation component would be an individual joint within an industrial robotic manipulator. This component consists of a tightly integrated package containing an electric motor, gear train, output support bearings, position sensors, brake, servo-amplifier and communications controller. Within the context of this paper, this key building block is referred to as an actuator module. With regard to the needs of the EM, [8] and [9] have shown that while each focus area has unique requirements for robotic automation at a system or manipulator level, their requirements at the actuator level are very similar. Thereby, a modular approach to automation which utilizes a small set of versatile actuator modules can be used to construct a broad range of robotic systems and automation cells suited to EM applications. By providing a pre-engineered, pre-integrated motion system to different robotics users within the DOE, new automation systems can be more quickly created without extensive expertise in motion control or the expense of building custom equipment.},
doi = {10.2172/807871},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {7}
}