RE2 Robotics to Develop Control System to Improve ROV Manipulation Capabilities for the U.S. Navy

RE2 Robotics, a leader in intelligent mobile manipulation systems, has received Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from the U.S. Navy to develop a system that enables “coupled control” of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and robotic manipulator through a single control system.

The project, called “Coupled Locomotion And Manipulation System” (CLAMS), will combine the robotic arms’ control system and the ROV control system into one unit, improving coordination of the underwater manipulator and the ROV’s movements.

CLAMS will enable topside operators to control a system’s robotic arms and ROV simultaneously using one control station by combining the Company’s newly developed Coupled Remote Link Software (CTRLS) and the System Unification Model (SUM) to enable interoperability between ROV and robotic arm systems. CTRLS allows the topside ROV operator to send mission goals to the SUM module located on the vehicle. This enables the vehicle and robotic arms to quickly and efficiently achieve those mission goals, improving the ease of operators completing complex, underwater tasks.

2 RE2 Sapien SeaClass“Currently, robotic arms and ROVs are controlled with separate control systems. CLAMS will enable both the robotic arms and the mobile platform to be operated with a single control unit,” said Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO, RE2 Robotics.

“Integrating these platforms will enable users to increase efficiency by eliminating the need for an operator to monitor two separate control stations while completing a mission.”

In addition to defense applications, CLAMS will benefit industries that use underwater manipulation systems to conduct routine inspection and maintenance tasks, such as the oil and gas and renewable energy industries.

“The goal of CLAMS is to improve control of our RE2 Sapien™ Sea Class arms mounted on the VideoRay Defender ROV by addressing the two components as a unified system,” stated David Lee, director of product management at RE2. “This will allow topside operators to have more control over semi-autonomous operations while the integrated system is working underwater.”