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New robotic arms from Pittsburgh’s RE2 reach for a range of markets


The reach of Pittsburgh’s RE2 continues to grow, both in terms of its business and its robotic manipulator arms.

The company launched its Highly Dexterous Manipulation System (HDMS) product line in July. HDMS was originally designed for bomb squads, explains Douglas Peters, RE2's vice president of operations. Most explosive ordnance disposal robots include a single, low-dexterity manipulator that significantly limits the tasks that can be performed. With two arms, HDMS offers the same level of dexterity, speed and strength as a human torso and arms, and can perform more complex tasks such as screwing the cap off a pipe bomb.

The system was developed through combined funding from internal sources, the Army and the Navy. The first commercial system was sold to MIT for an ongoing research project looking at automation. RE2 now has two versions of the system in the final stages of development, preparing for wider commercial release.

Last month, RE2 closed on $2.25 million in funding led by Pittsburgh-based Draper Triangle Ventures with participation from Riverfront Ventures. RE2 says it plans to use the capital to further accelerate product development and penetrate new markets such as agriculture and healthcare. In June, the company announced a partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to assess and recommend robotic technologies for the winemaking industry.

HDMS, says Peters, is suitable for “any application that requires near-human capability to interact with the world.” 

Source: Douglas Peters, RE2
Writer: Elise Vider

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