Design of a Multi-Segmented Magnetic Robot for Hull Inspection

Hull, deck plate, and tank inspection for corrosion, deformation, and fractures is a necessary part of ship maintenance to ensure functional integrity and proper operation of the ship. These inspections are labor intensive, expensive, and often dangerous. A multi-segmented magnetic wheeled robot can assist the surveyors in these tasks.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Maintenance, Repair and Service Operations, Robotics, Vehicle inspections, Marine vehicles and equipment

A Modular Approach to Video Designation of Manipulation Targets for Mobile Manipulators

Currently fielded EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) robots are limited in terms of both mechanical ability and autonomous capabilities when compared to the current state-of-the-art in mobile robotics. To combat this problem the Joint Service EOD Program is developing the Advanced EOD Robot System (AEODRS). AEODRS consists of three system variants that vary in size: small for dismounted operations, medium for tactical operations, and large for base/infrastructure operations. Differing from past EOD UGV development efforts, these robots will be designed under a modular architecture consisting of several capability modules that are to be developed separately.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Architecture, Robotics, Hazards and emergency management, Military vehicles and equipment

Two-Dimensional Distributed Velocity Collision Avoidance

As the number of autonomous vehicles continues to increase for both commercial and military applications, collision avoidance algorithms are of the utmost importance to successfully execute missions in dynamic environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Mathematical models, Collision avoidance systems, Autonomous vehicles

Undersea Communications Between Submarines and Unmanned Undersea Vehicles in a Command and Control Denied Environment

Nuclear powered submarines can stay submerged for days at a time and only have to come to periscope depth (PD) for communications and minor house-keeping items. Submarines are completely reliant on satellites for communications and orders from their commanders ashore. A command and control denied environment (C2DE) is an area in which communications are jammed or degraded. There is no technology currently available that allows submarines to conduct communications in a C2DE. The only method currently available is for the submarine to navigate to unaffected waters, conduct all of its communications, and then to travel back to the C2DE, wasting valuable time and possibly compromising the submarine’s mission.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Automation, Vehicle networking, Wireless communication systems, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment, Satellites

Using SWaP-C Reductions to Improve UAS/UGV Mission Capabilities

The defense and aerospace market continues to push for reductions in size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) to support advanced sensor/vetronics payloads onboard unmanned platforms. Groundbreaking SWaP-C reduction for processor and network switch systems are enabling UAS (unmanned aircraft system) and UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) platforms to expand their mission capabilities. Several technologies are driving this small form factor revolution, including tightly integrated system- on-chips (SoCs), semiconductor packaging advancements (i.e. smaller nanometer dies, lower voltage chips), and micro-miniature rugged connectors.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Downsizing, Connectors and terminals, Packaging, Semiconductors, Autonomous vehicles, Unmanned aerial vehicles

Designing Rugged Computing Platforms for UGVs

While the military’s proliferation of unmanned aircraft, or drones, continues to grab the headlines, the deployment of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) is also anticipated to expand based on their role in helping military operations become more agile, responsive and safe. Intensifying mission requirements for UGVs called for in Future Combat Systems (FCS) depends on their ability to cost-effectively contribute to significant increases in intelligence through reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition, coupled with the ability to handle high-risk or labor intensive tasks and the efficient transporting of personnel and materials.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Computer software / hardware, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

Bi-manual Dexterous Manipulation for Maritime Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Since 2001, there has been a proliferation of robots within the U.S. military to assist with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) missions. Ground robotics systems are able to detect and dispose of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with the help of robotic manipulator arms.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Defense industry, Robotics, Waste disposal, Hazardous materials

Applying UUV Advances to Safeguard Harbors and Littoral Waters

Advances in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) are providing government agencies and commercial organizations with new capabilities across a variety of mission requirements. However, many underwater vehicles only address specific criteria or support well-defined (and limited) niches. As an example, the Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Littoral Battlespace Sensing (LBS) system includes the LBS-G long-endurance glider to collect oceanographic data, but also needs the LBS-AUV for military applications.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Defense, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Designing a Robot to Counter Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices

The use of Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) has increased each year. Current anti-VBIED technology is not only expensive, but requires months or years of training by Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technicians to operate the equipment. The process of unloading the EOD robot, attaching the detonation wire to the robot, attaching the water charge to the EOD robot, driving the water charge to the VBIED, placing the charge under the vehicle, and then retrieving the EOD robot is a time consuming event. With a typical EOD robot costing $100k - $200k, there is a large financial risk to the EOD team if the robot is damaged or destroyed in the process. WM Robots PAWN was developed to offer the EOD technicians another option in reducing the time needed to neutralize the threat and cost of the operation.

Posted in: Articles, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Defense, Robotics, Hazards and emergency management, Military vehicles and equipment

Unmanned Helicopter

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In five months of operation, the NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) saved over 8,800 lives in the Mediterranean. By spotting and monitoring distressed vessels, Schiebel’s Unmanned Air System CAMCOPTER® S-100 assisted in the rescue and contributed significantly to the success of the mission.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Rotary-wing aircraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles