Pittsburgh-based developer of mobile manipulation systems, RE2, Inc., has been awarded a $2.7-million contract by the Office of Naval Research to develop an Underwater Dexterous Manipulation System for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Applications (DMEA).
RE2’s DMEA technology will provide EOD personnel with the ability to remotely address Waterborne Improvised Explosive Devices (WIEDs).
“We are honored that ONR chose RE2 to develop a strong, highly dexterous underwater manipulation system,” stated Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO of RE2. “We thrive on complex engineering challenges and are excited to leverage our mobile manipulation expertise for the underwater systems market.”
WIEDs pose a significant threat to vessels, bridges, and ports. WIEDs placed in congested areas, such as bridge pilings, are particularly difficult to access and defeat. RE2’s dual-arm dexterous manipulation technology integrated onto an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) will make it possible to perform EOD tasks in confined spaces.
Pedersen added: “We are working with several unmanned underwater systems subject matter experts, including Bluefin Robotics, The Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Lab, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, and Dr. Hagen Schempf, to ensure the success of the technology and program.”