PITTSBURGH — What do both summer vacationers and field robots need to do? Get into the water. Hebi Robotics this week announced the availability of its R-Series actuators, which it said can enable engineers “to quickly create custom robots that can be deployed directly in wet, dirty, or outdoor environments.”
Hebi Robotics was founded in 2014 by Carnegie Mellon University professor and robotics pioneer Howie Choset. It makes hardware and software for developers to build robots for their specific applications. It also offers custom development services to make robots “simple, useful, and safe.”
Hebi’s team includes experts in robotics, particularly in motion control. The company has developed robotics tools for academic, aerospace military, sewer inspection, and spaceflight users.
Robots can get wet and dirty with R-Series actuators
The R-Series actuator is built on Hebi’s X-Series platform. It is sealed to IP678 and is designed to be lightweight, compact, and energy-efficient. The series includes three models, the R8-3, which has continuous torque of 3 N-m and weighs 670g; the RB-9, which has continuous torque of 8 N-m and weighs 685g; and the R8-16, which has continuous torque of 16 N-m and weighs 715g.
The actuators also include sensors that Hebi said “enable simultaneous control of position, velocity, and torque, as well as three-axis inertial measurement.”
In addition, the R-Series integrates a brushless motor, gear reduction, force sensing, encoders, and controls in a compact package, said Hebi. The actuators can run on 24-48V DC, include internal pressure sensors, and communicate via 100Mbps Ethernet.
On the software side, the R-Series has application programming interfaces (APIs) for MATLAB, the Robot Operating System (ROS), Python, C and C++, and C#, as well as support for Windows, Linux, and OS X.
According to Hebi Robotics, the R-Series actuators will be available this autumn, and it is accepting pre-orders at 10% off the list prices. The actuator costs $4,500, and kits range from $20,000 to $36,170, depending on the number of degrees of freedom of the robotic arm. Customers should inquire about pricing for the hexapod kit.