by David Geer
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HDT Global's Adroit MK2
They’re no Transformers, but they produce a lot of action!
The MK series of robotic
arms from HDT Global's
Robotics division may
not be able to change into
Dodge Chargers, 18-wheelers, or military
aircraft, but they are able to do a lot of
digging, gripping, chores with power tools,
path clearing, and bomb removals.
The HDT Global Adroit MK2 robotic manipulator arm and end
effector attachments were originally conceived and developed
as part of DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program. The
impetus was to create an altogether new type of arm
prosthesis. The result is a robot arm that performs practical
real world tasks with more than human levels of strength,
saving lives and the cost of inserting people in complex
HDT’s MK series of robotic arms may be no match for
the Transformer’s Megatron, but it is a step closer to more
strength, manipulation, and increased degrees of freedom
in controlled practical robotic arm and end effector
As first in a series of military robots, MK1 was used
primarily for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) to remove
bombs while protecting military personnel and civilians,
keeping them at a safe distance.
The MK1 has near-human arm and hand manipulation
capabilities, and better than human levels of strength and
durability with the capacity to carry 50+ lb with its own
total mass being only 14. 5 lb.
10 SERVO 03.2013
Applied to both military and homeland security needs,
the MK1 has been exceeding the load-to-mass and load-to-volume ratios of concurrent similar technologies in the field
and was one of the most technologically advanced robot
arms used in defense applications.
The dexterity and control of the MK1 are state-of-the-art, based on 11 actuated degrees of freedom and 17
articulated joints. Its arm and wrist are comprised of five
modules with seven degrees of freedom. The MK1’s robot
hand has four actuators that move 10 articulated joints.
The hand has a grasp and manipulation capability beyond
any concurrent field operational device.