HDT Robotics Launching New MK2 Robotic Arm at Ground Robotics Capabilities Conference 2012

Posted: March 6, 2012

SOLON, Ohio – March 1, 2012 – HDT Global® (HDT), provider of highly-engineered mobile military and emergency response solutions, is launching new developments in its revolutionary robotic arm technology at the Ground Robotics Capabilities Conference, March 21-23, 2012. The MK2 robotic arm systems, which can be mounted on any mobile platform, were created by a team of HDT Robotics™ scientists and engineers to offer soldiers and law enforcement officials more advanced capabilities than any technology currently available on the market.

The MK2 is the next generation in HDT’s dexterous manipulator family, including single arm and dual arm manipulation capabilities and left- and right- handed configurations. The MK2 system features a new torso for dual arm systems with three degrees of freedom, providing even greater movement capability. The two arms and the torso can be simultaneously controlled by a single operator using two of HDT’s new joystick systems. 

The MK2 three-finger end effector has four degrees of freedom with an opposable thumb and can use a variety of tools designed for a human hand. This ruggedized end effector is watertight and now includes mounting rails for fitment of accessories, including a scoop that allows the MK2 arm to be used as a miniature backhoe. The end effector can be field-configured as either left- or right-handed.

“Just as with the MK1 arm, HDT’s enhanced MK2 technology incorporates components and software that give this system nearly an order of magnitude performance advantage over anything else out there,” said Tom Van Doren, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of HDT Robotics. “The new features of the MK2 give the operator nearly the same dexterity, strength and speed as a human, with the safety of performing required tasks hundreds of meters away.”

Conventional robotic arms for military robots offer three or four degrees of freedom. The competitively priced, modular HDT MK2 is a configurable system of components, allowing for mission flexibility. User-defined configurations may include a 10 degree of freedom single arm system, weighing only 13.5 pounds, or a system as robust as a 27 degree of freedom dual arm and torso system that weighs only 51 pounds.  The single arm systems can lift up to 50 pounds and the dual arm system can lift a 110 pound, 155 mm projectile. The strength of the MK2 allows remote operators to dig in dirt, sand and gravel. The highly dexterous MK2 arms can perform complicated tasks, including unzipping a backpack, disassembling a device and extracting a detonator. 

This lightweight technology carries an advantage for soldiers, as the MK2 is easy to handle and able to mount onto legacy tracked robotic platforms that are already in theater.

Attendees at the Ground Robotics Capabilities Conference at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in San Diego, California will have the opportunity to experience the MK2 in action at booth #202, with live demonstrations and a chance to control the MK2 system themselves.