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Ripsaw MS1 by Howe and Howe Tech #6 ... 2:52
A couple of brothers—twins, actually—out of North Brunswick, Maine, Geoffrey and Michael Howe of Howe and Howe Technologies Inc., have developed a relatively large tracked tactical UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) for military applications called the Ripsaw Military Spec 1 UGV (a.k.a. Ripsaw MS1 UGV a.k.a. Rip Saw MS1 UGV). Billed as "the world's fastest tracked vehicle", the Ripsaw MS1 is essentially an unmanned, militarized hotrod on tracks that’s able to hit 50mph in about 4 seconds. The original Ripsaw UGV (non-militarized) prototype could hit 50mph in about 3.5 seconds, since it was lighter, but it wasn’t as strong/rugged. The original speed goal for Ripsaw was approx. 80mph, but the Howe brothers have discovered that driving UGVs remotely can get scary and precarious at speeds above 50mph.

The Ripsaw MS1 UGV large-format tracked tactical robot can move at relatively high speed over all terrains with a lot of power and authority, due to a number of design aspects/factors. One of these is its unique lightweight, rugged tubular chassis construction. The Howe brothers got the tubular-chassis-construction idea from NASCAR race cars. "The most unique thing about Rip Saw MS1 UGV is that it's the same technology that's used in Nascar or Monster Trucks. It's built with a tube chassis, which allows us to decrease weight and increase strength,” say the Howe brothers. The high-horsepower/high-torque engine requires a custom, heavy-duty transmission (larger, more rugged components/parts) and drivetrain, which is provided by New England Transmission.

The Howe brothers are all about simplification. The entire vehicle is comprised of only 8 components, including the engine/motor and tubular chassis. The chassis itself can be lifted from the engine in less than an hour. To replace the engine, just drop it (engine) out, and lift the chassis off. Streamlined maintenance is therefore one of the the vehicle’s selling points. While the chassis itself requires more than 1,000 tube cuts, Ripsaw inventor Mike Howe innovated a tube-cutting process that cuts down fabrication time of the Ripsaw's roll cage by 300-400%. Previously, it would have taken hours to cut and prepare a single pipe. No longer.

The Ripsaw MS1 tactical UGV utilizes a powerful oversized and customized 650-horsepower Duramax 6.6L V8 diesel engine that delivers 900 ft./lbs of torque. Factory horsepower for the engine is 375hp, so the Howe brothers have suped it up a good bit. The engine fits inside a 3x3-foot (3x3”) space in the chassis. One of the most interesting aspects of the Ripsaw MS1 UGV to DefenseReview is its unique, custom suspension system. Ripsaw utilizes an impressive custom-designed, in-house-developed) Baha-off-road-type, caterpillar-like independent suspension system that has an impressive 18 inches of takeup. The Howe brothers call it a dual-acting dog-leg suspension. Each primary L-type suspension arm has its own Baha-racing-type air shock absorber, and is connected to the middle of the secondary hinge-arm, called the “bogey bar”, to which the wheels are attached/connected. This hinged bogey bar can swing back and forth (i.e. up and down) like a seesaw/teeter-totter. The dog-leg suspension system can handle a 4-foot static drop test onto concrete without suffering any apparent damage.
Submitted by: ambience
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Keywords: Ripsaw Combat Tech Mobile Armored Vehicle Unmanned Ground Vehicle
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