Robotics Research Corporation

ROBOTICS RESEARCH CORPORATION  was founded in 1983 by James P. Karlen, now Chief Technology Officer at Agile Systems Inc. RRC pioneered the technology of force-controlled dexterous robotic manipulators and the firm’s line of electric-drive arms is recognized worldwide as the state-of-the-art. Customers include all NASA robotics centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, the DOE’s X-10 and Y-12 plants at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Loral Space Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Ford Motor Company, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd., the Japanese Space Agency, and many prominent universities. 

         RRC Modular Configurable Arm System

Robotics Research has also adapted its patented mechanism and control technology to space, defense and nuclear applications in R&D programs conducted for NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. Teamed with Grumman Space Systems in the late 1980s, RRC developed the robot system designs for NASA’s Flight Telerobotic Servicer—a dual-arm, 17 degree-of-freedom, anthropomorphic manipulator for space station assembly and servicing. 


Above: Dual-Arm 14-DOF Dexterous Manipulator System FTS Testbed built for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  Demonstration of simultaneous control of two arms with a total of 14 Degrees of Freedom.  Wooden rod is not being gripped, but maintained in place between the two arms by pressure and friction.


Above Left: 17 DOF system built for Grumman Space Systems.


Left: Illustration of 17 DOF anthropomorphic manipulator with attached end-effector "hands" and vision system "head" building space station framework.



In the mid-1990s, teamed with Orbital Sciences Corporation and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Robotics Research developed, built and tested the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Aid Tool (HST-SAT), a large articulated arm designed to assist astronauts during on-orbit servicing missions. 

Hubble Space Telescope-Servicing Aid Tool built for Orbital Sciences Corporation & NASA Goddard

Left: Position on Shuttle,   Right: In launch cradle, being readied for thermal vacuum testing.

Since 1996, Robotics Research has been working under contract with the U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal to implement a version of the company’s modular, open-architecture R2 Robot Control System to provide intelligent control to a variety of in-field material handling systems, including the Smart Crane, a large high-capacity hydraulic arm mounted on an 8x8 off-road vehicle. 

Robotics Research has served as a subcontractor to Agile Systems Inc. for control system design and integration in both the NAVSTORS and NAVPAK program.

Visit RRC Website


Keith Kowalski
P.O. Box 62298
Cincinnati, OH 45262-0298
513.831.9570            FX. 586.816.0841
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