Dartmouth Engineering Researchers Use PTC Pro/ENGINEER® Solutions To Create Affordable Robots
Reduced design time minimizes development costs, advances study, assists First Responders, SWAT teams and Homeland Security
NEEDHAM, MA. – March 26, 2007 - PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), the Product Development Company®, announced today that researchers at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth are using Pro/ENGINEER, including Pro/ENGINEER Mechanica®, to develop autonomous, mobile, high-speed, low-cost robots as part of their study of cooperative control. These robots can be used to assist community first responders in assessing potentially dangerous situations rapidly and safely, with reduced risks to the responders. Pro/ENGINEER is used by forty-five of the top fifty-two engineering universities in the United States.
The Dartmouth engineering research team is studying the concept of cooperative control which allows one person to control multiple high-speed, all terrain robots. This approach eliminates the need for the one soldier per robot control procedure currently required with highly specialized military use robots. As a result, costs can be dramatically reduced enabling resource constrained communities to leverage robotics technology to optimize their public safety initiatives. These all-terrain robots are also being used as “scout” vehicles to characterize terrain and reduce the potential for robot immobilization.
Unable to locate commercially available robots for use in the study, the researchers opted to develop their own robots. Using the advanced capabilities of Pro/ENGINEER, the chassis was designed in less than twelve months at a fraction of the costs. Pro/ENGINEER Mechanica was utilized to perform structural analysis to ensure maneuverability on various terrains before creating the prototype. Furthermore, the researchers were able to use the 3D models to determine the optimum control and terrain algorithms for the robot, saving the time and costs of iterative prototyping.
“Robotics development is highly complex, involving mechanical, electrical and software components. As a result, it is typically a very long and costly process,” says Laura R. Ray, associate professor of engineering at Dartmouth. “The 3D solid modeling capabilities of Pro/ENGINEER allowed us to determine the final outcome before investing time and money in the prototype. We could be fully confident that all the parts were going to fit, minimizing the impact of rework.”
“The Dartmouth research project is an excellent example of how educational institutions can use PTC’s leading technology solutions to prepare their students to compete effectively in the workforce,” says John Stuart, senior vice president, global partners and education, PTC. “The student researchers at Dartmouth will have the added experience of using their engineering skills to create an innovative robot that can help solve the real world problem of public safety.”
Dartmouth is a private, four-year liberal arts institution that has been at the forefront of American higher education since 1769. A member of the Ivy League, Dartmouth is a superb undergraduate residential college with the intellectual character of a university, featuring thriving research and first-rate graduate and professional programs. Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth was founded in 1867 by Dartmouth alumnus Sylvanus Thayer. The School operates with a single unified Department of Engineering Sciences offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. World-class research at Thayer School is advancing innovation in high-impact areas that cut across traditional engineering disciplines and address critical human needs. See more at engineering.dartmouth.edu.
About PTC’s Education Program
PTC's education program provides teachers and professors with complete learning solutions to prepare a new generation for success in a technological world. From secondary school to the university level, PTC gives students the ultimate in product development education by providing software, training and classroom materials to educators worldwide. The education program is a part of a technological literacy movement that seeks to improve critical thinking and multidimensional problem-solving skills as well as preparing a growing number of students to become engineers.
PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) provides leading product lifecycle management (PLM), content management and dynamic publishing solutions to more than 40,000 companies worldwide. PTC customers include the world's most innovative companies in manufacturing, publishing, services, government and life sciences industries. PTC is included in the S&P Midcap 400 and Russell 2000 indices. For more information on PTC, please visit http://www.ptc.com
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