Original Publication Date: 1999-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-09
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Adam Jacoff: INVENTOR [+2]
The Tripod Manipulator is a joystick controlled manipulator capable of maneuvering a wide-range of payloads throughout a wide-range of work volumes. This manipulator is notable for it's extremely high payload-to-weight ratio as compared to existing commercial manipulators and for it's high work volume-to-size ratio. These features, along with its simplicity and low-cost components, should result in it being very attractive and beneficial to industry. The Tripod Manipulator was conceived and developed in response to a need by Boeing and the Air Force's Air Logistic Centers for a long reach, joystick controlled manipulator capable of maneuvering a rather large payload across a rather large work volume. The initial application of this manipulator would be stripping paint from thin walled aluminum aircraft skins with a plastic media blast that is akin to sand blasting. The intent is to mount this manipulator on the personnel bucket of an aerial lift, on an overhead suspended personnel carrier, or on a caster equipped ground platform. Other manipulator design requirements were the need for modular construction, reconfigurability to assorted sizes, low cost and intuitive control. Toward that end, we invented what we believe to be an extremely capable manipulator which robustly addresses all of the above criteria and allows for other embodiments which will make it even more attractive to industry.