A cable-driven manipulator can precisely manipulate tools and loads using position velocity and force control modes. The manipulator includes a plurality of cables (2 or more) that are independently controlled by modular winch drive-mechanisms and coordinated to achieve intuitive manipulator movement in all six degrees-of-freedom. The manipulator consisting of modular sub-assemblies and components (i.e. winch amplifier servo interface sensory feedback) can be rapidly reconfigured to adjust to new applications. Various combinations of manual and automatic control can also be implemented. The winches can be controlled manually by a multi-axis joystick or can be automatically controlled by computer. For examples Robocrane can be used for the following applications: flexible-structure mobility heavy material handling and flexible fixturing on land rescue and personnel maneuverability in air subsea pipe-laying and removal lifting and salvage from stable or unstable references on water drydock ship-hull access and lightweight long distance lunar rover capabilities in space.
The present technology has various applications including waste and pollution clean up where distance is a necessity for the health and safety of human operators of equipment.