NASA needs the increased functionality to simulate a robotic arm operating in the zero-gravity environment of space where deflection and other zero-gravity effects could affect a mission outcome. NASA is already using the URC3 at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to engineer and simulate the navigation capabilities of a docking system it is developing.
"This addition to the original NASA order gives us the opportunity to further demonstrate the benefits and functionality capable from an open architecture, PC robot controller," said Robert Ballard, vice president of operations, RWT. "It also provides Innova another opportunity to showcase its expertise in developing custom technology solutions to improve the productivity and efficiency of robotic applications."
Key capabilities of the URC3 include increased processing speeds for improved path following and motion control, and improved communications between the robot and the controller, and between the controller and other enterprise systems. The URC has been awarded three pioneer patents issued by the USPTO pertaining to the interface of a general use computer and the demanding motion control required by robots, regardless of specific applications.
"We are gratified to start the year by expanding our relationship with NASA and being more involved in the development work for NASA's operations in space," said Walter Weisel, Chairman and CEO, Innova Robotics & Automation. "I believe that today's announcement speaks to the success to date of Innova's engineering team on this project, and we look forward to our expanded role with NASA."
The URC is designed for plug-and-play connectivity and simplifies programming tasks through the use of its universal programming language, RobotScript®, which is based on Microsoft® technology. RobotScript features English-language commands and syntax, making it very easy for operators to learn and use. Because the controller utilizes non-proprietary components, replacement parts are commercially available and can be quickly and inexpensively purchased "off the shelf." The URC3 is more compact than the previous model as well as several OEM controller models, freeing up valuable floor space on the production floor for other processes. The URC and the RobotScript programming language are also being used to operate various models of ABB, Cincinnati Milacron, Fanuc, Kawasaki, Unimation and Yaskawa Motoman robotic arms.
About Innova Robotics & Automation, Inc.
Fort Myers, Fla.-based Innova Robotics & Automation (
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