Research

Robotics and Scientific Research

The Barrett WAM™ arm


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The WAM arm is the best robotic-arm research platform available
today.  The arm is used worldwide for studying trends in emerging
robotics applications and in understanding human/primate learning and
motor control.  The hardware and software of the WAM is completely
open, which is unprecedented among major robot suppliers.  The
researcher need not delve below the high-level control of the WAM,
but the option is there to edit the C-Language code at the lowest
levels of control, so researchers with their own computed-torque
algorithms can implement them directly.  Barrett has a policy of
providing all of its source code free to its customers.  Several of
its customers are now making their code extensions and improvements
available to the entire WAM community.  Barrett's code is commented
with user editing in mind, and Barrett supports users who edit the
code.  For researchers studying neural-learning, the WAM is an
extraordinarily human-like research platform where the forces and
torques (and not just the trajectories) in both joint and Cartesian
space are always available to the user in realtime.  For researchers
exploring emerging applications in robotics, the WAM allows
unprecedented versatility from its simple teach-and-play interface to
full Cartesian force control and to haptics.  Finally, Barrett has
implemented safety checks at multiple levels on speed, force, and
other factors to make its arm the safest available among 1-m-reach arms.

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