Electrical control of a hydraulic arm


Earthquakes, floods or a nuclear disaster can cut off the supply of energy to inhabited areas or make them inaccessible to humans. The use of (semi-)autonomous robotic systems on land, water and in the air should greatly improve the search and rescue of people in such crisis situations. The EU-FP7 project ICARUS has set itself this goal.

An existing vehicle LUGV (Large Unmanned Ground Vehicle) was equipped with a hydraulic gripper arm for autonomous use in search and rescue operations. The vehicle is equipped with various tools, whose change during operation can be automated.

The activation and control of this arm with five degrees of freedom was realized with our hydraulic controller from the Modular Control System (MCS). This allows synchronous measurement data acquisition and control of up to four axes. To protect the electronics, a waterproof housing with protection class IP67 was used. Due to the flexible design of the MCS electronics platform, even unusual requirements can be mapped to existing hardware and software components. Thus, requirements can be implemented quickly and cost-efficiently.

Realized added values

Search and Rescue

Search and rescue of people in crisis areas and the supply of residents in inaccessible areas.


Due to the versatility of the built-in control technology, the system can be easily adapted to other applications.


(Partially) autonomous robot systems can support rescue teams without putting other people in danger.


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