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Humanistic Robotics, Inc. Delivers the Future of Wireless Contro

Humanistic Robotics, Inc., (HRI) a robotics and technology innovator dedicated to making the world safer through engineering and design, has annocunced their SafetySense® Controller. HRI is looking to change the way equipment manufacturers view wireless control.

HRI’s SafetySense® Controller provides top-of-the-line safety in a lightweight, easy-to-use, feature-rich, handheld device. Itutilizes industry-leading safety methodologies including SafetySense®, a proprietary design strategy included in all of HRI’s robotics products that prevents uncommanded machine motion, even in the event of human error or wireless congestion. Through this and other methodologies, HRI provides automatic intervention to prevent unsafe conditions before they develop, while also allowing the user the ability to intervene when they detect an unsafe condition. In addition to 900 MHz, the SafetySense® Controlleris now available in 2.4 GHz for worldwide operation, is designed to meet ISO 13849 Performance Level D Category 3 safety requirements, and is available with CAN, USB, or RS-232 interfaces.

Josh Koplin, Co-Founder, HRI. commented “We created this system to be as lightweight and easy-to-use as possible and while many of the current systems on the market are between 4 and 40 pounds, our 1-pound controller can fit into a carpentry bag, back pocket or just the palm of a hand, while still hitting the feature and safety-rich sweet spot. Moreover, despite its light weight, it's extremely rugged, is water, shock, and dust-resistant, and has a myriad of advanced safety features.”

Another key benefit of the controller comes from its form factor, which is very familiar to younger users, so it requires nearly no training, and allows more experienced operators to adjust very quickly to its operation. In fact, it rarely takes longer than 5 minutes for a new user to get the hang of the controller and be able to run large machinery almost effortlessly.

“The ergonomic nature of HRI’s control is as good as it gets. But – and I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough - its ease of use is what takes this system to the next level,” said Mike Garrod with NPC Robotics, a company that specializes in the rapid design, prototyping, testing and production of innovative electric and mechanical motion systems for military and commercial clients. NPC has been working with HRI’s SafetySense® Controller over the past year and is using the system with security robots for specific use by first responders. “Whether it’s a paramedic, police officer, or SWAT team member, the system requires little training and can be easily driven by any person who has ever used an Xbox or PlayStation controller. Standard RC controllers are unreliable, have little range and are difficult for an untrained person to understand – all challenges non-existent with HRI's SafetySense® Controller.”

HRI has also been working with 5D Robotics, whose software and services provide real-time, reactive robotic behaviors that work to dramatically increase the safety, efficiency and simplified control of robots used in the military, transportation and energy industries. “This controller's reliable customized interface is amazingly portable. We can map different features and behaviors to the controllers, and all communications necessary to support a mission are done through them,” said David Bruemmer, Vice President, 5D Robotics.

5D incorporated the controller into unmanned ground vehicle programs for the U.S. Army and has been using the System to support dismounted soldiers who need to move long distances while maintaining their ability to neutralize and attack a variety of hazards. There had not been a good way to do this in the past with a dismounted system, so 5D created a solution called “Lighten the Load” in which a squad-controlled robot can autonomously follow and push in front when there are suspected hazards. “HRI’s innovation takes our solution even further, as the controllers allow for operation in very difficult situations, are rugged enough to take anywhere, and provide all the feedback opportunities that you would want, all on an LCD display. In addition to robotics and the military, HRI’s System can work in any number of commercial industries including construction, mining, agricultural environments and in a variety of different applications.”

HRI is currently working on several pilot projects with large construction equipment companies who place an extremely high value on wireless control. From making sure everyone is safe while giving users a full 360 degree view, to eliminating whole body vibration fatigue and reducing the need for spotters, to making communications more precise and with less effort, HRI’s SafetySense® Controller benefits run the gamut.  Mobile and industrial equipment applications include aerial work platforms, cranes, tele-handlers, concrete pumps, mining equipment, drilling rigs or logging equipment. Applications also include emergency, unmanned ground, marine and aerial vehicles as well as automated guided vehicles (AGV’s), military and other specialized robotics applications.  

“What’s so exciting is that we’re seeing interest in wireless control coming to light in places and situations we never dreamed about,” said Samuel Reeves, Co-Founder and President, HRI.  “The versatility of our system allows a customer to come to us with an application where wireless may be helpful and we can not only meet the need but, in many cases, make it work in a way that enhances the customer's operation in areas they didn't think about. Our controller goes places where belly boxes are impractical… controlling yachts, improving water sports like water skiing and wakeboarding, entertainment and the ability to easily move equipment to name just a few examples. In a very crowded market, wireless control can be thought of as a way to differentiate existing or future products.”