DARPA Autonomous Robot Manipulation (ARM) Robot


Apparently my hunch about the recent humanoid being the standard platform for the DARPA Autonomous Robot Manipulation Software (ARM-S) program was spot-on!  A new blog post on ROS.org confirms that this is the DARPA "ARM Robot" and that there is a public contest to name the robot.  The blog post gives a few hardware details: "The 'ARM Robot' has two Barrett WAM arms, BarrettHands, 6-axis force torque sensors at the wrist, and pan-tilt head. For sensors, it has a color camera, SwissRanger depth camera, stereo camera, and microphone."  The program winners are also enumerated: Carnegie Mellon University, HRL Laboratories, iRobot, NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SRI International and University of Southern California.  Be sure to check out the video of the (now confirmed) unnamed DARPA ARM-S robot platform embedded below. Updated Sept. 1st, 2010: This robot was integrated / developed by RE2, a Carnegie Mellon spin-off located in Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in agile defense robotics with an emphasis on intelligent mobile manipulation platforms.

As I mentioned, SRI International is apparently looking for qualified applicants to work on this robot.


The DARPA ARM homepage has a few CAD drawings that give a better idea of the overall design:


Here is what the DARPA ARM homepage has to say about the program:

DARPA is introducing its Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program. The goal of this 4 year, multi-track program is to develop software and hardware that allows an operator to control a robot which is able to autonomously manipulate, grasp and perform complicated tasks, given only high-level direction. Over the course of the program in the Software Track, funded performers will be developing algorithms that enables the DARPA robot to execute these numerous tasks. DARPA is also making an identical robot available for public use. Allowing anyone the opportunity to write software, test it in simulation, upload it to the actual system, and then watch, in real-time via the internet, as the DARPA robot executes the user's software. Teams involved in this Outreach Track will be able to compete and collaborate with other teams from around the country.


Updated Sept. 1st, 2010:  InformationWeek just put up a press release that lists the winners of ARM's hardware track (ARM-H):

Teams working on the hardware for the program come from iRobot, Sandia National Laboratories, and SRI International, who are developing designs for new multi-finger hands. Development will focus on keeping costs low with high design quality, according to DARPA.



Your hunch was not spot on. The robot was developed at RE2, Inc. under contract from DARPA. SRI International is a competitior in the software and hardware competitions, but did not develop this particular robot.

I personally worked on the robot and programmed the routine seen in the video, which was held at team training in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago.

—DARPA ARM Employee

The previous commenter is correct.

I am the project manager for this robotics project. The robot was designed and integrated at RE2, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. SRI is one of several research teams that will be receiving this robotic platform to demonstrate their cutting edge robot manipulation capabilities. 

I would be happy to speak with anyone regarding further details on this robotic system.

- Patrick Rowe, Ph.D.

- Vice President, Research & Development

- RE2, Inc. 

@ Patrick & "DARPA ARM Employee"

Thank you both for the clarifications; it definitely makes Hizook a better place (and clearly shows my ignorance). You're right.  SRI did not develop the base platform's hardware.  I tried to be cautious and avoid attributing it to them in the previous post's text (though the title was perhaps a bit ambiguous), as I was fairly certain that this was the case.  When I realized that this was clearly the DARPA ARM program platform, I made this as a follow-up post to (hopefully) make matters a bit more clear.

Of course, you're correct that RE2 performed the development / integration.  I have made updates accordingly; it seems from their website that they do a lot of top-notch robotics work.

I'm just curious... did Alexander Stoytchev's robot at Iowa State have any impact on the design?  They seem to share many of the same elements. 

—Travis Deyle

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