Developing a High Mobility Manufacturing Robot (HMMR) for Ship Compartments (2014-443)
- Robotic Technologies of Tennessee
- Tennessee Tech University
- BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards
- Ingalls Shipbuilding
- General Dynamics NASSCO
- VT Halter Marine
June 2014 - September 2016
NSRP ASE Investment: $271K
Industry Investment: $295K
To develop a robotic platform that can perform a variety of production/manufacturing tasks within enclosed ship compartments. The platform will be lightweight, portable, and able to transition over obstacles and between the deck, bulkheads, and overheads in a compartment while carrying tooling. Not only will this radically improve productivity and safety, but it will also turn compartment work into a more desirable trade.
Every year, millions of man-hours are spent performing work in enclosed ship compartments. This work is among the most labor intensive, dangerous and least-touched by automation (and productivity) as any performed. The HMMR will augment existing compartment workers and significantly improve productivity and safety.
The HMMR is a robotic extension of the technician’s hand. It was remotely driven to (1) traverse compartment spaces (including floors, walls and ceilings), (2) transition over obstacles (intersecting walls, simple stiffeners, etc.) and (3) perform compartment tasks like buffing, blasting, welding and painting. The system was driven remotely by the technician (using a camera) from outside of the compartment or in some cases had automatic functions.
This work was demonstrated in three primary deliverables based on the same HMMR platform: a Roomba-type buffing system, a panel-welding robot capable of climbing over 4 inch T-beams to perform fillet welds, and a remote-operated compartment robot that can reach walls, ceilings and work around stiffeners.
- In Phase 1, the project team designed and prototyped a robotic floor buffing platform that can move forward, backward, and laterally without turning.
- System uses acoustic and LIDAR sensors for localization and navigation
- In Phase 2, a panel line automated welding platform was created so that it can perform mechanized fillet welding on a panel line combined with the ability to transition over stiffeners.
- The 4 inch ‘T’ stiffener on 24-inch spacing was selected as the candidate surface for design
- Modified system chassis can support multiple welding arrangements with respect to mounted, integrated, or separate wire feeds
- In Phase 3, the third system demonstrated remote control of multiple inspection, surface prep, and manufacturing tasks inside ship compartments. The HMMR system was tested in mock-up compartments for three operations: inspection, sandblasting, and coating.
- The HMMR system has the ability to operate on flat, vertical, horizontal surfaces
- The robot carries a four-degree-of-freedom arm that is capable of performing multiple operations remotely inside a compartment
Request Final Report from NSRP– Approved to U.S. Citizens Only
Initial Welding Test Video – Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Initial Navigation Test Video- Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Compartment Buffing Test– Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Blasting Welding Transitioning Test– Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Welding Test- Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Phase 1 Platform Testing Video – Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Phase 2 Testing Video – Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Point of Contact:
James Beard, Robotic Technologies of Tennessee