Northrop Grumman advances 'Lobster' prototype
By Huw Williams
Northrop Grumman Remotec is set to complete the first full prototype of its Andros Dual Armed Dexterous Manipulator (DADM) by the end of this year with production expected to begin in mid-2013, according to company president Mike Knopp.
The DADM is also known as the 'Lobster' manipulator and is being developed in collaboration with California-based Applied Minds, with some funding from Northrop Grumman's Future's Lab. According to Knopp the system will offer a capability that is sorely needed in the explosive ordnance disposal community.
Knopp said that the manipulator has been in development for around two years and is now at a point where it is technically feasible for prototyping and eventual production, which would be conducted and funded by Northrop Grumman.
Many of the system's components are commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), Knopp said, but it also features significant technological advancements, particularly in the use of plastics and some of the control elements. "Our challenge will be to find a way to get through the plastics development as cheaply as we can so it doesn't overprice the system," Knopp explained.
A complete system consists of two main components the DADM platform and an operator controller.197 of 440 words
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