Machinery & Automation

Geospatial Accuracy of Small Unmanned Airborne System Data in the Coastal Environment

The purpose of this study was to assess the ability of commonly available COTS software to produce geometrically accurate orthometric mosaics and terrain models from low-altitude UAS imagery.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Data Acquisition, Design, Imaging, Automation, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Software

Developing Knowledge and Understanding for Autonomous Systems for Analysis and Assessment Events and Campaigns

There are many challenges in developing complete performance ontologies and test methodologies to define and evaluate the performance of autonomous systems. Chief among them is the dynamic environment in which the autonomous system is expected to operate. Change in the autonomous system’s environment is expected to affect system performance. Test methodologies have to include all aspects of this dynamic environment.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Data Acquisition, Defense, Automation, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement

Localization and Mapping of Unknown Locations with Unmanned Ground Vehicles

The main goals of this research are to enhance a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software platform to support unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) exploring the complex environment of tunnels, to test the platform within a simulation environment, and to validate the architecture through field- testing.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Batteries, Cameras, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics, Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Simulation Software, Software, Transportation

Soldier-Robot Team Communication: An Investigation of Exogenous Orienting Visual Display Cues and Robot Reporting Preferences

The advancement of robot capabilities and functionality has changed the way in which soldiers perform many of their operational tasks. The various unmanned air, ground, and submersible vehicles currently deployed have significantly impacted present-day warfare.

Posted in: Briefs, Aeronautics, Aerospace, Aviation, Communications, Wireless, Defense, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics, Test & Measurement, Automotive, Transportation

GPS Enabled Semi-Autonomous Robot

The primary objective of this research is to integrate GPS and local sensory data to allow a robot to operate semi-autonomously outside of a laboratory environment. The Pioneer 3-AT, a robust platform capable of operating in the outdoors, is utilized in this project. The P3-AT has acoustic sensors that can calculate distances to obstacles and encoders that calculate how much each wheel has turned. In a laboratory environment, sensory and encoder information can be used to triangulate position or measure distance and direction traveled from a known starting point. Operating outdoors limits the effectiveness of both systems as the obstacles are not known and wheels can often slip and slide on different surfaces. This necessitates external data to determine the location of the robot. GPS was chosen to provide that data. GPS, acoustic, and encoder data were integrated within MATLAB and provided control signals to the robot.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Communications, Data Acquisition, Defense, MEMs, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Software, Transportation

Development of a Vision-Based Situational Awareness Capability for Unmanned Surface Vessels

Using unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for “dull, dirty and dangerous missions” is gaining traction in recent years as it removes the human element from a potentially life-threatening environment in missions such as mine hunting or maritime interdiction. Current USVs rely on human operators sitting in remote control stations to monitor the vessels’ surroundings and perform collision detection and avoidance. This reliance on the human operator constrains the operating envelope of the USV as it requires a high bandwidth and low latency communication link for safe operations, especially in waters with heavy traffic.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Defense, Imaging, Machine Vision, Video, Automation, Robotics, Simulation Software, Transportation

Experimental Confirmation of an Aquatic Swimming Motion Theoretically of Very Low Drag and High Efficiency

It has been established theoretically that self-propulsion of deformable bodies in ideal fluid can occur with a careful specification of the deformation mode shape. With the fluid assumed ideal, vortex shedding, rotational wake, and induced drag would not occur. The implication is that for a real fluid, provided the existence of a thin boundary layer, similarly configured bodies with the same deformation mode shape self-propel without vortex shedding, rotational wake, and induced drag. Only viscous drag effects, due to the existence of the thin boundary layer, are present and unavoidable. The motion mode in question is the little-exploited anguilliform mode exhibited in some aquatic animal swimming. The Anguilla includes the snake, eel, lamprey, and leach, among others.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Water, Biological sciences, Robotics, Drag, Marine vehicles and equipment

Gesture-Based Controls for Robots: Overview and Implications for Use by Soldiers

Afuture vision of the use of autonomous and intelligent robots in dismounted military operations is for soldiers to interact with robots as teammates, much like soldiers interact with other soldiers. Soldiers will no longer be operators in full control of every movement, as the autonomous intelligent systems will have the capability to act without continual human input. However, soldiers will need to use the information available from, or provided by, the robot. One of the critical needs to achieve this vision is the ability of soldiers and robots to communicate with each other. One way to do that is to use human gestures to instruct and command robots.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Robotics, Optics, Sensors and actuators, Human machine interface (HMI), Robotics

A Guide for Developing Human-Robot Interaction Experiments in the Robotic Interactive Visualization and Experimentation Technology (RIVET) Simulation

ARL's Intelligent Systems Enterprise vision is to enable the teaming of autonomous intelligent systems with soldiers in dynamic, unstructured combat environments, as well as in non-combat military installations and base operations. To accomplish this vision for interdependent soldier-robot teaming, there has been a paradigm shift in robotic research conducted by ARL from the current instantiation of fielded remote-controlled or teleoperated robots to systems with increased intelligence, decision-making capability, and autonomy. This type of teaming is needed for future joint, interdependent, network-enabled operations.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Computer simulation, Imaging, Human machine interface (HMI), Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment

Identifying the Flow Physics and Modeling Transient Forces on Two-Dimensional Wings

The main objective of this research was to better understand the flow physics of aircraft wings undergoing highly unsteady maneuvers. Reduced-order models play a central role in this study, both to elucidate the overall dynamical mechanisms behind various flow phenomena (such as dynamic stall and vortex shedding), and ultimately to guide flight control design for vehicles for which these unsteady phenomena are important.

Posted in: Briefs, Aerospace, Automation, Robotics, Wings, Mathematical models, Aerodynamics