Technology to Extend Your Reach
Predator is the beneficiary of over 25 years of manipulator
system development and manufacturing experience. Predator
is a mature product combining field proven technology with
simplicity of design. With an emphasis on overall system
reliability and field serviceability, the Predator manipulator arm
incorporates fewer components and is less complicated than
any other manipulator in its class. By design Kraft manipulator
arms minimize overall cost of ownership.
Kraft force feedback manipulator arms have achieved a
remarkable track record by demonstrating exceptional
performance and reliability in demanding undersea, nuclear,
aerospace, electric utility, and military applications worldwide.
When ease of operation and productivity at the work site are
important, Predator offers outstanding performance.
Predator is a 7-function, hydraulically powered manipulator
for use in both deep ocean and hazardous inland environments.
Widely regarded as a leading example of state-of-the-
art manipulator technology, Predator delivers unparalleled
controllability and responsiveness to operator commands. With
over 79 inches of reach and a lift capacity of 500 lbs, Predator
delivers powerful manipulator performance in a streamlined,
Intuitive master/slave control allows even an inexperienced
operator to perform work tasks with human like motion and
speed. Force feedback dramatically improves operator
awareness and allows the operator to perform tasks more
quickly and perform tasks of much greater complexity. In
addition to improved telepresence, the compliant nature of a
force feedback system greatly reduces the risk of accidental
damage to both the work site and the manipulator arm.
Predator is capable of completing a wide variety of complex tasks in unstructured environments.
on an undersea
ROV used for maintenance and burial of subsea telecommunication cables.
Meeting The Challenge
Predator force feedback manipulator arms are used to
perform a wide variety of tasks in undersea and terrestrial
environments. In applications where reach and physical
strength are important Predator excels. When work must be
completed in a timely manner, and with little risk of damage
to the work site, the advantages provided by a high dexterity
force feedback manipulator are significant.
Click to enlarge
available with either
parallel acting, or four fingered intermeshing jaws.
Both jaw configurations can grip ¾" diameter T-handles.
Predator's close-coupled wrist with 200 degrees of pitch and yaw motion provides high dexterity
where its needed most. A high efficiency piston motor delivers smooth wrist roll torque, even at fractional RPM. Kraft's unique
method of controlling
the gripper allows the operator to
the rate of jaw
closure, and the
amount of grip
Predator requires only one electrical
connection and a pressure & return
hydraulic connection. All valves are
packaged as an integral part of the
manipulator arm, eliminating the
cumbersome hydraulic lines that
would be necessary with a remote
valve package. A square, four-bolt
flange makes mounting the
Predator on the Institute
For Exploration (IFE) deep
diving ROV 'Hercules".
During Bob Ballard's
"Return to Titanic" expedition,
the Predator arm on Hercules
recovered a steel test sample
from the port side bow section
of the RMS Titanic in 12,000 FSW.
The test sample was placed on
the bow as part of an experiment
to determine rusticle growth rate.
Innovation in Control Technology
KMC 770 Advanced Operating System
The KMC 770 control system offers many standard
features which enhance system performance and
ease of operation. These features include:
- One button indexing - the ability to offset master position relative to the manipulator for operator comfort.
- Power alignment - allows the operator to realign the master with the manipulator after indexing. When initiated, the master controller will move into alignment with the manipulator under its own power.
- Joint lock - used to selectively lock one or more axes of the manipulator so that motion at the master has no effect on the locked axis.
- Joint scaling - the ability to alter the ratio of master arm movement to manipulator arm movement. Scaling can be established for each joint individually.
- Joint limits - the ability to establish individual joint motion limits to prevent arm impact with peripheral equipment.
- Proportional control of grip force - greatly enhances manipulator performance and is far superior to conventional rate or position control.
- Auto stow/deploy - allows the operator to automatically stow or deploy the manipulator using a previously programmed routine.
- Robotic operation - provides the ability to teach the manipulator a routine or sequence and permanently save it for execution at a later time.
- System diagnostics - provides comprehensive tools for evaluating and troubleshooting the system.
As the vital link between the remote manipulator and the human operator, the Kraft force feedback mini-master® allows the operator to control complex manipulator motions in a comfortable and intuitive manner. Electric actuators on the individual joints of the master respond to the forces acting upon the manipulator arm, providing force feedback to the operator. Conveniently located switches on the master provide the operator with direct access to core manipulator functions for faster arm operation. The mini-master® is designed for comfortable left-hand or right-hand operation.
In its standard configuration the mini-master® is mounted to a compact, portable, operator control unit that can be placed on nearly any surface for operation. A color liquid crystal display allows the operator to view system information and menus. Pushbutton keys surrounding the display allow the operator to select various operating options.
Predator manipulator arms are used in
the decommissioning of nuclear facilities
world wide. A Predator arm on the
RedZone vehicle "Houdini", is used
to perform a wide variety of
decommissioning tasks in hot cells.
US Air Force "ARTS" vehicle,
equipped with both a Kraft Grips and
Predator force feedback manipulator
arm for the remote handling
of unexploded ordnance.