Because improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are often anchored down or secured to frustrate simple access by explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) staff, EOD staff need to have the ability to cut through or into structures that secure IEDs, so as to support inspection, manipulation, and movement of an IED; the purpose of the current project was to develop universal tools that will interface with any of the existing common robots used in EOD work.
This was Phase II of an earlier effort to develop the “Double Dervish,” a universal cutting tool that could easily be adapted to existing robots used in EOD work. This tool was originally envisioned as having two cutting blades, hence the name of “Double Dervish.” During the Phase I development, this configuration was refined into a single blade design that became known as the “Dervish.” Phase II of the project focused on the fielding of a universal cutting tool that would interface with any of the existing common EOD robots. The baseline cutter head is designed to cut through cloth, ballistic nylons, mixed textiles with zippers, buckles, zippers or chains, key shanks, and cables, all with a single tool. A shoe-guide prevents damage to the surface, which is particularly important in hostage or suicide cases. The blade is designed with a closed-loop feedback that monitors the current and voltage draw in order to prevent binding and also minimize power draw during idle. The Dervish as now configured offers the user great capability in manipulating down-range structures and items in an efficient, flexible manner. The device will not jam and can be tailored to multiple platforms and missions. 66 figures
Date Published: August 1, 2011