CARMa and TY2
CARMa is the Constrained Area Remote Manipulator and is a mid sized parallel robotic manipulator. CARMa has six degrees of freedom and is a version of Tri-Sphere parallel robot. CARMa was developed to evaluate the ability of Tri-Sphere mechanism to function as a robotic manipulator. As a parallel mechanism a Tri-Sphere is able to achieve extreme resolution and lift capacity in a compact and robust package. However, this comes at a loss of work envelop; Tri-Spheres have relatively small dexterous work envelops compared to serial mechanism of the same size and power usage.
I worked on the CARMa project for the majority of my first summer at Square One. My work focused on taking already developed code and improving it. I work on an advanced GUI for the system which combined machine vision, Xbox control, autonomous operation, and calibration tools. I also developed an alternative vision system which used an analog camera instead of the originally developed GigE camera.
The results of the CARMa project were extremely promising. The mechanism was able to preform dexterous manipulation and grasping operations and the work envelop constraints were found to be minimally inhibitory. However, it was determined that the original design could be improved by redesigning the motor brackets and by increasing the size of the motors to NEMA 17s. The redesign of CARMa was completed and yielded TY2 (TARDEC Year 2) the second version of the system.
Here is CARMa operating as a scientific sample positioner.
Here is CARMa preforming semi-autonomous point and get operations.