Barrett Press Release.....
Burt® Innovation Platform
 A kinematically-unique life-sized human-machine interface that is haptically-enabled
Newton, MA, USA - Barrett drives innovation, winning new US patent (#10,130,546) with foreign equivalents pending for its Burt® (Barrett Upper-extremity Robotic Trainer). Burt® is a large-3D-workspace haptics platform supported by ideal kinematics that operates in either one-sided or bilateral mode, fully immersing its user in the experience.

According to Barrett CEO, Bill Townsend, "Out-of-the-box life-sized haptics made our WAM® arm special. So we developed cost-optimized Burt® by combining Barrett's patented Puck® motor-controller with Barrett's patented gearless drives and applying best design practices. 

Indeed, researchers from Boston University , University of Waterloo , Simon Fraser University,  Cleveland State University , University of Pittsburgh, the Shirley Ryan Abilitylab (formerly RIC), and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital have just begun to explore the frontiers of this innovative device. 

Virtual Reality and Teleoperation

On the advanced-robotics side, Burt® is an open-sourced haptics-enabled human interface tool. It has a variety of applications from teleoperation, to hands-on force-controlled robot training, to studies in large-workspace bimanual haptics, to games that sharpen hand-eye coordination while promoting physical exercise.  

On the medical side, Burt® is an FDA-registered neurorehabilitation device designed to leverage brain plasticity to promote recovery from stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal-cord injury, and other neurological traumas. Games and assessments encourage efforts by the patient while rich realtime data support the needs of therapists and insurance providers. The #1-US-ranked Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (aka Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago - "Abilitylab" and the #2-ranked Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital are beginning NIH-funded clinical studies for Burt®.

Dr. James Patton at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly RIC) underscores, "Burt® is instrumental for the developmental future in our laboratories, representing the only full-range-of-motion, backdrivable, and safe solution for upper extremity neurorehabilitation clinical science."

Minimalist Design

In support of application development, Barrett has created a sophisticated Unity plugin for Burt®. Unity is the premier environment for interactive game development. Burt's Unity extension library takes advantage of Unity's built-in physics engine while leveraging the high-fidelity transparent dynamics of Burt®. Furthermore, the open-source control library allows researchers to fine-tune the haptic modules and develop custom-controllers. 

Burt® customer Dr. Bulmaro A. Valdés, Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University, adds, "A great feature of the Burt® is its full integration with Unity, which allows us to quickly develop 3D robotic applications in the lab. Moreover, the gravity compensation option is an important attribute to have for stroke rehabilitation research."

In summary, Burt® is a VR-ready platform that offers new opportunities for human-computer interface research. Come experience Burt® firsthand by visiting Barrett's headquarters or attending one of IEEE's top-tier Robotics Conferences, such as ICRAIROS and ICORR.

Barrett is a pioneer in high-performance robotic arms and hands, such as its WAM® arm
and BarrettHand™, for emerging applications requiring superior versatility. Barrett has pioneered advanced motor controls, for example its Puck®, to enable the best force-controlled performance available. When combined with its gearless transmissions, these systems are in a league of their own. Barrett's latest robot, named Burt®, is an FDA-Registered Class-II medical device that immerses the user in a rich haptic field and enables unencumbered zero-gravity reaching in all directions. A research edition of Burt® is available for researchers in advanced robotics who need a haptic-development platform that enables large motions.