RE2 Robotics, a developer of humanlike robotic manipulator arms in Pittsburgh, has received $3 million in funding from the Office of Naval Research to develop a dexterous, underwater robotic hand with tactile feedback.

The program, called Strong Tactile mARitime hand for Feeling, Inspecting, Sensing and Handing (STARFISH), will allow operators for U.S. Naval expeditionary forces to locate, identify and neutralize hidden and visible explosive threats on land and underwater.

“The development of STARFISH takes underwater robotic technology to the next level by providing operators with the ability to ‘feel’ and sense the environment around them while remaining at a safe distance,” RE2 Robotics President and CEO Jorgen Pedersen said, in a statement. “The use of advanced tactile sensing and intelligent grasping will improve operational performance by removing operators from dangerous areas and allowing them to quickly and accurately respond to explosive threats.”

RE2 will work with researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Washington to develop the hand.