Barrett Technology

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Barrett Technology Inc.
Industry Robotics
Founded Cambridge, Massachusetts (1988 (1988))
Founders William Townsend
Headquarters 73 Chapel Street, Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people William T. Townsend
Products WAM Robotic Arm, BarrettHand
Website Barrett.com

Newton, Massachusetts, USA-based Barrett Technology was incorporated by William T. Townsend in 1990.[1] Barrett manufactures robotic arms and hands installed in 20 countries on 6 continents. Barrett is credited in The Guinness Book of World Records, Millennium Edition, as maker of the world’s “most advanced robotic arm.”[2] Its 7-axis robotic arm, named the WAM arm for Whole Arm Manipulation[3] is based on Puck electronics[4] and mechanical[5][6][7] drive technologies and designed to interact directly with people.[3][8] One application of an early version of the technology has been the arm manufactured and sold by MAKO Surgical Corp. which enables haptically-guided minimally-invasive knee surgery.[9]

The Puck powered BarrettHand BH8-series product is based on technology licensed from the University of Pennsylvania[10][11] and developed by Gill Pratt, Yoky Matsuoka, and William Townsend[12] into its present form.

Company history[edit]

Date Event
1982–1984 Townsend works in Massachusetts Institute of Technology's "motor" lab (LEES) where novel servomotor CMOS-FET configurations/algorithms are being developed
1987 Research team at MIT invents cable-differential drive, high-speed cable drive, and haptic (WAM) robotic arm
1990 Barrett Technology, Inc. incorporated
1991 Barrett markets brushless motor with integrated drive electronics
1992 US Patents[5][6] issued on cable-drive technologies
1993 Barrett builds first BarrettHand prototype, combining Barrett and UPenn technologies[10][11]
1995 US Patent[7] issued on a manual cable pretensioner
1997 Barrett secures exclusive worldwide control of the WAM cable-drive patents[5][6] from MIT
1998 Barrett signs exclusive license deal with MAKO Surgical Corp. for medical applications
2001 Burt Doo becomes Barrett's Operations Chief and invests in the Company
2002 Covert work begins on Puck development
2004 Barrett builds first puck-based prototype WAM for NASA-JSC
2005 MAKO Surgical Corp. wins U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market a modified WAM for knee surgery
2006 MAKO begins shipping its version of the WAM for knee surgery under license from Barrett
2007 US Patent[12] awarded for Hand with integrated "Palm" camera
2007 Barrett begins work on next-generation Puck, code-named "P3" and expected to be released in 2012
2009 US Patent[4] awarded on the Puck, other patents pending internationally

Sources[edit]

Rooks, Brian, "The harmonious robot", Industrial Robot 

Smith, Julian (23 March 2007), "Can Robots Be Programmed to Learn from Their Own Experiences?", Scientific American 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barrett Technology Inc. - Company Information
  2. ^ Kynaston, Nic (2000). 'Guinness World Records, Millennium Edition'. London, UK: Guinness Media Inc. pp. 170–171. ISBN 1-892051-00-1. 
  3. ^ a b US patent 5207114, J. Kenneth Salisbury, Jr., (Cambridge, MA) William T. Townsend (Somerville, MA) & William T. Townsend, "Compact cable transmission with cable differential", issued 1993-05-04, assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) 
  4. ^ a b US patent 7511443, William T. Townsend, (Weston, MA) Adam Crowell, (Beverly, MA) Gill Pratt, (Lexington, MA), Traveler Hauptman, (Watertown, MA); Adam Crowell & Gill Pratt et al., "Ultra-compact, high-performance motor controller and method of using same", issued 2009-03-31, assigned to Barrett Technology, Inc. (Cambridge, MA) 
  5. ^ a b c US patent 4903536, J. Kenneth Salisbury, Jr., (Cambridge, MA), William T. Townsend, (Somerville, MA), David M. DiPietro, (Webster, NY), Brian S. Eberman, (Rochester, MN); William T. Townsend & David M. DiPietro et al., "Compact cable transmission with cable differential", issued 1990-02-27, assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) 
  6. ^ a b c US patent 5046375, J. Kenneth Salisbury, Jr., (Cambridge, MA) William T. Townsend, (Somerville, MA) David M. DiPietro, (Webster, NY) Brian S. Eberman, (Rochester, MN); William T. Townsend & David M. DiPietro et al., "Compact cable transmission with cable differential", issued 1991-09-10, assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) 
  7. ^ a b US patent 5388480, William T. Townsend, (Weston, MA), "Pretensioning mechanism for tension element drive systems", issued 1995-02-14, assigned to Barrett Technology, Inc. (Cambridge, MA) 
  8. ^ "The Science of Innovation". NSF Current mailing list. June 2009. http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsletter/jun_09/index.jsp. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Robotics Offer Newfound Surgical Capabilities". Embedded Technology. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b US patent 4957320, Nathan T. Ulrich, (Philadelphia, PA), "Methods and apparatus for mechanically intelligent grasping", issued 1990-09-18, assigned to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) 
  11. ^ a b US patent 5501498, Nathan T. Ulrich, (Philadelphia, PA), "Methods and apparatus for mechanically intelligent grasping", issued 1996-03-26, assigned to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) 
  12. ^ a b US patent 7168748, William T. Townsend, (Weston, MA) Traveler Hauptman, (Cambridge, MA) Adam Crowell, (Beverly, MA) Brian Zenowich, (Boston, MA) John Lawson, (Petersboro, MA) Vitaliy Krutik, (Lynn, MA) Burt Doo, (Cambridge, MA); Traveler Hauptman & Adam Crowell et al., "Intelligent, self-contained robotic hand", issued 1996-03-26, assigned to Barrett Technology, Inc. (Cambridge, MA)