Reach Robotics has released a series of significant design changes to its Reach Alpha manipulator range. It marks a new level of performance for the world’s most compact underwater dexterous robotic arm. Shipping from February 21, all Reach Alpha manipulators (including grabbers and rotate units) now include the Mk2 design changes resulting in a tougher, smarter, and more reliable unit.
The Mk2 design changes aim to improve performance, robustness, and reliability. Re-designing the method for module interconnection resulted in a four-fold increase in joint strength. Overhauling the internal gearing mechanisms allowed for more advanced active compliance for collision protection and back-driveability. Further gearing improvements enable lower backlash susceptibility, which increases field life. New pre-deployment sealing checks via a vacuum monitoring system and improved sealing mechanisms mean you can confidently deploy the Reach Alpha into the water.
Improvements to the manipulator control system have further enabled a more intuitive control of the robotic arm. A 50% velocity increase enables the Reach Alpha to more accurately mimic operator Master Arm movements, improving efficiency and task precision.
These upgrades were informed by extensive in-house testing and feedback from ROV operators worldwide. Reliability is a core necessity for high-end operators in Defence and the Oil and Gas industry, and Reach Robotics continuously seeks to make manipulators that can stand the tempo and the harshness of the environments they are used in.
A summary of Mk2 improvements to the Reach Alpha:
- Upgraded module interlocks for 4 x increased strength
- 50% increase in speed
- Improved collision protection through advanced active compliance
- Significantly lower backlash susceptibility with new drivetrain gearing
- The new and improved sealing mechanism
- Back-drivable drivetrain
- Internal vacuum monitoring system for pre-deployment sealing check