Brokk 180R Material Handling and Demolition Robot

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Brokk 180R

Brokk 180Rclick to enlarge

Working with Brokk AB in Sweden, Kraft TeleRobotics, Inc. has delivered the first in a series of powerful remotely operated demolition robots, which incorporate a highly intuitive method of control with force feedback to the operator. By combining the power and mobility of a Brokk 180, with the same dexterity and controllability as a Kraft 7-function force feedback manipulator arm, these next generation machines set new standards for ease of operation, versatility and performance.

Given the designation 180 "R" because of their advanced robotic capabilities, the new 180R machines are slated for use in the nuclear industry, where they will facilitate the decommissioning of power plants and government nuclear facilities. The special features of the 180R all but eliminate the need for operator training, and depending upon the task, at the flip of a switch, the operator may choose from three different methods of operation. These include master/slave control with force feedback, fully robotic operation, or joystick control.

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When in master/slave mode, a force reflecting hand controller allows the operator to control complex arm motions in an intuitive comfortable manner, as if the machine were an extension of the operator's own arm. Additionally, force feedback improves the operator's level of awareness, reduces mental fatigue, and allows the operator to control the amount of force being applied by the machine. Master/slave control is so intuitive and easy to use that even the most inexperienced operator can complete work tasks quickly, and with very little skill required.

When repetitive tasks are to be performed, the operator may choose full robotic operation. This method of control allows the operator to teach the machine a task or routine, and permanently save the task for execution at a later time. During playback of the taught task the operator may halt, resume, reverse and vary the rate of execution. The 180R is capable of handling a wide variety of tools, and is equipped with a quick hitch tool adapter, which allows the operator to quickly and easily change out a tool. An example of some of the tools handled by the 180R include, hydraulic breakers, shears, saws, clamshell bucket and scabbler.

The Joystick mode of operation employs a completely separate, redundant control system, which allows the operator to control all of the machine's operating functions using a standard Brokk 180 control unit. Although not as intuitive, this mode of operation can be very useful in the execution of specific tasks, and having a completely redundant method of control is of great value.

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© Kraft TeleRobotics, Inc.