Robot Arm Provides S&T Enhanced Capabilities & Precise Manipulation

DHS S&T has developed a new accessory arm as part of the Upgrade Explosives Ordnance Disposal Robot Project, a joint venture between S&T, Israel’s Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) and the Israel National Police Bomb Disposal Division (INPBDD). (Courtesy of DHS S&T)
Reliance upon bomb squads comes at the price of placing members in dangerous environments, so with that in mind, the first responder community identified an improved robot as a critical need for bomb and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD)(Courtesy of DHS S&T)

Homemade bombs pose a credible threat and can cause mass casualties, infrastructure damage and spread fear among affected communities.

Powerful explosives can be made from common, everyday consumer goods, like pool sanitizers, fertilizers and paint removers, which are widely bought and sold every day in the United States.

In the hands of the wrong people, these basic materials can be used to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Reliance upon bomb squads comes at the price of placing members in dangerous environments.

With that in mind, the first responder community identified an improved robot as a critical need for bomb and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).

In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), a Three Time Winner in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, developed a new accessory arm as part of the Upgrade Explosives Ordnance Disposal Robot Project, a joint venture between S&T, Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and the Israel National Police Bomb Disposal Division (INPBDD).

“The goal of this collaboration is to assist bomb technicians in both countries to refine and enhance their ability in render safe procedures,” explains Byung Hee Kim, Program Manager for S&T’s Response and Defeat Operations Support (REDOPS) program.

The robot accessory arm is part of S&T’s ongoing work with MOPS to facilitate research, development, testing and evaluation activities and deliver enhanced capabilities to law enforcement and public safety personnel in both countries.

A New Robot Accessory Arm

Courtesy of DHS S&T
Courtesy of DHS S&T

S&T worked with its Israeli counterparts to integrate Remotec Inc.’s Andros Wolverine 6X6 and accessory arm system.

Since a suitable option for the secondary manipulator was available as an off-the-shelf product, there was no need to develop a new robotic arm.

The team selected the Jacob® arm produced by Kinova Inc., a robotics manufacturer serving the medical and first responder markets.

The Jaco arm was tested and combined with a high-strength finger gripper from Robotiq.

The Remote Accessory Arm was then integrated with the Wolverine bomb disposal robot as a secondary, highly dexterous small arm.

Together, the Kinova Remote Robotic Manipulation System enabled more precise video-guided manipulation of potentially hazardous materials using the Remotec Andros platform.

RemoTEC Andros Wolverine EOD Robot, Israeli Police Open Day in Rishon LeZion
RemoTEC Andros Wolverine EOD Robot, Israeli Police Open Day in Rishon LeZion (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Upgraded movements were adapted with the addition of a video camera inside the arm so the finger assembly could provide the remote operator with a constant stream of the inspected object.

The team incorporated additional enhancements throughout the prototyping process, such as a standalone radio for remote-control operations, a mechanical adaptor for installing the arm on an Israeli or U.S. robot, and camera unit including a laser pointer device within the new manipulator arm.

These improvements should allow users to perform multiple delicate tasks—such as unzipping a suspicious backpack, extracting detonators, opening doors, using tools such as knives, samplers, and scissors—with greater ease.

François Boucher, Executive Vice President at Kinova
François Boucher, Executive Vice President at Kinova

And the arm is designed to better mimic movements of a bomb technician for quicker device disabling.

“The complementary products proved better when paired together as an integrated system for significantly increased capabilities,” noted Kinova Executive Vice President François Boucher. 

Technician evaluators noticed how the ability to remotely change tools down-range significantly reduced the time required to disable a bomb, in comparison with the use of one arm.

In addition, the second arm preserved forensic evidence at the scene while disabling the bomb, keeping it intact and avoiding detonation.

“The arm and its accessory system give bomb techs new capabilities and increased dexterity, so instead of having another robot come and assist with disabling a bomb, they will have another appendage right there to help them negotiate whatever task they need to,” said Kim.

“This arm makes them work more efficiently and quickly and saves money.”

Testing and Results

Courtesy of DHS S&T

In April 2018, S&T’s REDOPS program conducted a training exercise in Israel with U.S. public safety bomb squads, the INPBDD and industry representatives from the U.S., Canada and Israel.

Technicians exchanged knowledge and received feedback from the end users based on experiences utilizing the manipulator on bomb disposal render safe procedure scenarios to result in a high caliber operational prototype.

“This level of visibility on an S&T project shows the value of its partnerships and the work S&T does in support of the DHS mission,” Kim explained.

The following year, S&T and the Israelis successfully demonstrated and delivered a prototype of the accessory arm robot in Fairfax, Virginia, where many state police departments and industry companies participated, including the Michigan State Police, New Jersey State Police, Fairfax County (Virginia) Police and DAGER Technology.

The robot accessory arm on an Andros Wolverine Robot performed a series of joint operational scenarios, leading to the development of a product tailored to the operational requirements of bomb squads.

Future Robotics Developments

Prototypes of the accessory arm Andros Wolverine Robot were initially deployed to the INPBDD, the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad, and the New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad, who continue to share feedback as they use the technology operationally in the field.

Remotec and Kinova have since agreed to distribute the Kinova Remote Robotic Manipulation System, which is now commercially available.

“The commercialization of the Robot Accessory Arm is a success for DHS and more importantly for the bomb squads that have gained a new life-saving technology,” said Kim.

Under the agreement, Remotec sells the Kinova product as a remote option on the Andros platform to the U.S. first responder and law enforcement markets. Remotec also provides customer service, training and technical support for this new capability.

For more information about the Robot Accessory Arm and REDOPS, contact first.responder@hq.dhs.gov.

DHS S&T Honored for Fourth Year in Annual  ‘ASTORS’ Excellence in Government Awards

Sridhar Kowdley, DHS S&T Next-Gen First Responders (NGFR) Program Manager
Sridhar Kowdley, DHS S&T Next-Gen First Responders (NGFR) Program Manager

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate

    • Excellence in Public Safety

    • Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Program

    • The Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Program works with first responders across the country to ensure the technology they use while responding to an emergency keeps them better protected, connected and fully aware.

Bhargav Patel, Senior Technologist at U.S. DHS S&T’ National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL), accepting the Labs’s 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Award at the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon held during ISC East.

DHS S&T National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL)

Don Roberts, S&T Program Manager), accepting the Labs’s 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Award at the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon held during ISC East.

DHS S&T Office of Mission and Capability Support

2019 'ASTORS' Awards Program Banquet Luncheon
2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program Banquet Luncheon

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is specifically designed to honor distinguished government and vendor solutions that deliver enhanced value, benefit and intelligence to end users in a variety of government, homeland security and public safety vertical markets.

Deanne Criswell
Deanne Criswell the Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department is responsible for oversight of the City’s efforts to plan and prepare for emergencies, educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response and recovery, and disseminate emergency information.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

American Security Today is pleased to announce that Deann Criswell, the NYC Emergency Management Commissioner will deliver the keynote address at the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon Banquet in New York City.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.

Comprehensive List of Categories Include:

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!

Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: mmadsen@americansecuritytoday.com.

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program surpassed expectations with a record number of nominations received from industry leaders and government agencies, and drew over 200 attendees to the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Banquet – an exclusive gourmet luncheon and networking opportunity which filled to capacity, before having to turn away late registrants.

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William (Bill) Bratton, former police commissioner of the NYPD twice, the BPD, and former chief of the LAPD, on the history of policing in America and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

The event featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William J. Bratton, former police commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) twice, the Boston Police Department (BPD), and former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), as he walked attendees through 50 years of American policing history, the impacts on the communities, and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

Commissioner Bratton, one of the world’s most respected and trusted experts on risk and security issues and Executive Chairman of Teneo Risk a global advisory firm, was recognized as the ‘2019 ‘ASTORS’ Person of the Year’ for his Lifetime of Dedication and Extraordinary Leadership in Homeland Security and Public Safety.

Why the ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program?

2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

American Security Today’s comprehensive Annual Homeland Security Awards Program is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of physical, IT, port security, law enforcement, and first responders, in acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

Over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms, gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included: 

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
  • United States Marine Corps
  • The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • DHS S&T 
  • United States Marshals Service (USMS)
  • The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Police (PAPD)
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • The New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (NYS DHSES)
  • United States Border Patrol
  • AlertMedia, Ameristar Perimeter Security, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, Bellevue University, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., CornellCookson, Drone Aviation, FLIR Systems, Hanwha Techwin, HID Global, IPVideo Corp., Konica Minolta Business Solutions, LenelS2, ManTech, Regroup Mass Notifications, SafeLogic, SolarWinds, Senstar, ShotSpotter, Smiths Detection, TCOM LP, Trackforce, Verint, and More!
2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

From innovative Military Cyber Programs, to LocalState and Federal Public Safety and Emergency Management Initiatives, New Physical and IT Products and Services, and Security Professional, Threat Assessment, Emergency Preparedness, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Education and Training Opportunities – Join your ‘ASTORS’ Award-Winning Peers and Receive the Recognition You Deserve!

Excellence in Public Safety and Government Security Award Nominations are also being accepted, such as 2019 Honored Winners which includes the DEAU.S. Marine CorpsDHS S&TFederal Protective ServiceDHS S&T NUSTLU.S. Marshals ServiceU.S. Border PatrolThe Port Authority of NY/NJ, and the NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services.

Individuals are also encouraged to be nominated for Government Excellence in Public Safety and Homeland Security such as last years widely respected recipients.

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.

‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’

AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please go to the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Championship Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2019 ‘A Year in Review’.

The ‘ASTORS’ Champion Edition is published annually and includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2019 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION will have what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitgate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

Allied Universal provides unparalleled security services and technology solutions. With offices located throughout the nation as well as internationally (Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom), Allied Universal is responsible for protecting client sites covering multiple specialty sectors such as higher education, healthcare, retail, commercial real estate, government and corporate campuses, etc.

To learn about advertising opportunities with American Security Today, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at mmadsen@americansecuritytoday.com.

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