Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Robotics’ Category

US Army Ground Robots to Integrate Persistent Systems Network

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Wave Relay® MANET to serve as communication network on QinetiQ robot for CRS(I) program of record

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK, New York. – June 12, 2019 – Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today that it will be supplying its Wave Relay® mobile ad hoc networking technology to the QinetiQ North America (“QNA”) team chosen for the U.S. Army’s Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS(I)) program of record.

CRS(I) is a backpackable robot, less than 25 pounds, that dismount users can carry with sensor suites for viewing and detecting threats, providing greater situational awareness in the field.

In March, QNA won the Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, valued at up to $164 million. And the company has already begun placing Low Rate Initial Production orders for Persistent’s Wave Relay®-enabling Embedded Module, which will be fitted into each new ground robot.

“We’re excited to, once again, deliver the Wave Relay® MANET to the U.S. Army and help lead the drive towards networking the battlefield,” said Leslie Hulser, Director of Programs for Persistent. “We are also very proud of our partnership with QinetiQ and congratulate them on this award.”

QNA was one of the first members of the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, an industry alliance of unmanned system and sensor companies putting their platforms on a common Wave Relay network—with the ultimate goal of giving the warfighter easy access to every unmanned vehicle, sensor and camera.

The Persistent Systems Embedded Module form-factor is QNA’s MANET radio of choice for CRS(I), providing secure, long-range data communication for the small ground robots.

For information on the Wave Relay® Ecosystem, visit www.persistentsystems.com/ecosystem

US Military Purchases Aquabotix Swarmdriver

Friday, May 31st, 2019

Aquabotix awarded an approximately US$150,000 contract to supply SwarmDiver system, training, and test support.

Sydney, Australia and Virginia and Massachusetts, USA – UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an approximately US$150,000 contract for the purchase of its SwarmDiverTM system along with training and test support for the United States Military. This hardware and services sale will enable necessary government evaluation activities for the Military’s consideration of operational use of the product in theatre.

 

This award represents the fourth (4th) order placed by the United States Armed Forces related to the SwarmDiver family of vehicles since the product’s launch in April 2018. Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Whitney Million, “We are proud to have this opportunity to provide our SwarmDiverTM solution once more to the United States Military and are optimistic about related future opportunities. We see this award as being significant for a few reasons. First, the award demonstrates a now solid trend of acquisition activity by the United States Military branches – a trend oftentimes followed by other nation’s navies as products become qualified for use. Additionally, the value of this award is significantly larger than those from the United States Military to Aquabotix in the past. While contract values for providing this type of hardware and services support for evaluation activities are generally small, they represent meaningful and necessary steps to progress commercially developed product to a state of full operational use. These facts leave us anticipating potential future, more sizeable orders from both United States and other navies.”

U.S. Military personnel reviewing the SwarmDiver system during the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Naval Technology Exercise in August 2018.

Rheinmetall’s Autonomous Rescue and Surveillance Vehicles to be Showcased in Canada at CANSEC 2019

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Rheinmetall is launching the Rescue model of its Mission Master at CANSEC 2019. The Mission Master is a modular unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that facilitates recovery of injured troops without compromising the operators’ safety, along with many other dangerous, dirty, and dull (DDD) tasks.

The newly released rescue variant of Rheinmetall’s flagship autonomous vehicle allows for in-field medical intervention. This gives remotely situated soldiers the ability to evacuate casualties over long distances either autonomously or via remote control.

Rescue model: enhancing casualty care effectiveness

In the field, the right equipment can be the difference between life and death for wounded soldiers, since 90% of fatalities occur between the time of trauma and arrival at the combat zone medical facility.

Rheinmetall’s Rescue UGV has all the equipment necessary for a successful evacuation, including two basket stretchers with sliding provisions, head and foot immobilizers, oxygen masks and canisters, a monitor defibrillator, and a hot/cold box. All of these items would be impossible for a medic to carry on foot, but the Mission Master can handle the load with ease.  

Operators can command the Mission Master from near or far using autonomous navigation, reducing the number of personnel needed on the ground. This feature leaves medics free to focus all of their attention on the injured soldier, as opposed to wasting precious time driving back to the extraction point. While transporting a wounded soldier using the UGV’s stretcher, for example, accompanying medics can use the vehicle as a workstation to administer emergency care.

Using the “follow me” function, the UGV can roll alongside other soldiers, who are busy making sure that the surrounding area is safe and secure. In both “follow me” and autonomous navigation modes, the Mission Master significantly relieves cognitive and physical stress, allowing troops to deal with the mission at hand.

Surveillance that saves lives

The Mission Master – Surveillance is designed to carry out observation and reconnaissance. Rheinmetall’s UGV is equipped with long-range EO/IR cameras, a 5-metre telescopic mast, radar, laser rangefinders (LRF), and GPS heading systems for 360-degree surveillance.

As an autonomous vehicle, the Mission Master – Surveillance can minimize the number of troops needed on the ground, while providing timely situational awareness for enhanced security and informed decision-making. Multiple sensors relay real-time data to the integrated Rheinmetall Command and Control Software (RC2S) and Argus soldier system, enabling rapid threat detection during operation in the field.

The UGV can transport much more specialized, high-performance equipment than soldiers can typically carry on their person. As a result, not only does the Mission Master help to significantly reduce the physical load carried by dismounted soldiers, it also enhances the likelihood of mission success.

The integration advantage

Each version of the Mission Master is networked to both the Argus soldier system and RC2S, the Group’s command and control software. This type of integration is a Rheinmetall specialty, and will be proudly on display at this year’s CANSEC tradeshow.

The rugged, ultra-portable Argus soldier system can control the UGV as well as receive data from its many sensors, delivering mission-critical information straight to soldiers’ tactical user interface. It can also send essential reconnaissance and updates to higher echelons of command via the RC2S.

Seeing is believing

Nothing compares to seeing our UGV in person. At this year’s CANSEC exhibition, Rheinmetall will be showcasing the Rescue model at its outdoor booth, and the Surveillance version in its indoor booth. Don’t miss your chance to speak with our experts about the Mission Master and its many advantages!

www.rheinmetall.com

USSOCOM Awards Contract to Sarcos Robotics for Delivery of Full-Body, Autonomously Powered Robotic Exoskeleton

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY and BELLEVUE, Wash. – March 18, 2019 – Today, Sarcos Robotics, a global leader in robotic systems that augment, rather than replace humans working in the industrial, public safety and military sectors, announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to deliver a pre-production version of its Guardian™ XO® (“XO”) full-body, autonomously powered robotic exoskeleton. The XO is capable of operating for up to eight hours per battery charge, while walking at three miles per hour and carrying up to 200 pounds of payload. With the ability to “hot swap” rechargeable batteries in the field, XO run-time is essentially unlimited.

The USSOCOM XO contract follows Sarcos’ recent announcements regarding collaborations with both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy to develop and evaluate variations of the Guardian™ XO® for use cases specific to these services. With 17 years of development efforts and more than $175 million invested in R&D, Sarcos has been laser-focused on ensuring the Guardian XO Max is safe, intuitive and power efficient. Sarcos recently shared significant power and performance enhancements to the XO, including significant improvements in power consumption, control system functionality and load transfer.

Soldier Center Partners with Industry Experts to Advance Exoskeleton Technologies

Monday, February 4th, 2019

NATICK, Mass. — David Audet, chief of the Mission Equipment and Systems Branch in the Soldier Performance Optimization Directorate, at the Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Soldier Center, is gearing up his team for the next User Touch Point activities to explore exoskeleton options later this month.

“As we explore the more mature exoskeleton options available to us and engage users, the more we learn about where the possible value of these systems is to Army operations,” said Audet.

“Before the Army can consider investing in any development above what industry has done on their own, we need to make sure that users are on board with human augmentation concepts and that the systems are worth investing in. The Army is not ready yet to commit. NSRDEC [RDECOM Soldier Center] has a lead role in working with PEO-Soldier and the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, to determine whether or not a longer-term investment in fielding new technologies is justifiable. But this is what we do best. We find the options and create the partnerships to help us figure it out.”

Recent media has brought a lot of attention to the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Controls, or LMMFC, ONYX, a Popular Science award recipient for 2018.

As innovative as it is, and with all the attention on the Soldier Center’s $6.9 million Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) award, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and lose perspective of the overall work the Soldier Center is actually doing.

Out of the 48-month phased effort, roughly $680K has been put on the LMMFC OTA — currently focused on having enough systems to take to the field for operational evaluation. Although performing, the technology has yet to prove itself in a full operational exercise before moving forward. And while LMMFC is highly confident in their product and continues to invest their funding on further developing the system for commercial use, the Soldier Center is also looking at other technologies.

Located in Maynard, Massachusetts, Dephy, Inc.’s ExoBoot is another entrant in the program. The Dephy ExoBoot is an autonomous foot ankle exoskeleton that was inspired by research done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under collaboration with the Army. It is currently under consideration for evaluation during the third and fourth quarter of 2019. Brigadier General David M. Hodne has worn the ExoBoot during Soldier Center program updates and is quite intrigued by the capability. User feedback will determine if both systems move forward and under which considerations.

“Under ideal conditions, we would favor a full development effort,” said Audet. “However, given the push for rapid transition and innovation, we can save the Army a lot of time and money by identifying and vetting mature technologies, consistent with the vision of the Army Futures Command, or AFC.

“In order to achieve the goal of vetting and providing recommendations, NSRDEC [the Soldier Center] and PEO-Soldier are strong partners, teamed up to work with third party independent engineering firms such as Boston Engineering out of Waltham, Massachusetts. The engineering analysis of systems will provide an unbiased system-level analysis of any of the technologies under consideration, following rigorous analysis of the capabilities as they exist, the operational parameters provided by users and assessment of how humans will use and interact with the systems.”

“We are confident products will succeed or – at a minimum – fill a gap we have not been able to address by any other materiel or training means,” said Audet.

“We will be prepared to transition, but we know there is a road ahead before we get there. We aren’t committing to anything more than to bring the systems to a demonstration and educate the community at large on what these preliminary technologies can offer. In the meantime, we add a layer of third party independent analysis as a reassurance policy that we are mitigating bias and staying laser focused on user needs and meeting the demands of the future warfighting landscape.”

Check Out The Latest From Safran Optics1 At SHOT Show

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Rheinmetall Mission Master dominates European ground robotic systems competition at ELROB 2018

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

At the end of September, and for the first time, Rheinmetall took part in ELROB with its unmanned multi-mission “Mission Master” vehicle. At Europe’s largest exhibition for military ground robotics, Rheinmetall’s Mission Master team entered the fray, taking on a number of competing teams. Made by Rheinmetall Canada, the cargo version of this versatile vehicle turned in a particularly compelling performance in the “Mule” category.

In all, six teams took part in this competition category. Mules are essentially automated pack animals – autonomous transport vehicles capable of carrying heavy loads and equipment. They had to handle two scenarios. The teams each had thirty minutes to cover a 1,400 m-long route with their mule. During the first run, Rheinmetall impressed the crowd with an impressive performance. Then, following the second, came the gratifying result; despite competing for the first time, the Rheinmetall Mission Master clearly dominated the contest, scoring 3,151 points, twice as many as the robotic vehicle that took second place (1,547 points), and way ahead of the one that came in third (167 points).

The Mission Master: modular, adaptable, flexible – a combat effectiveness multiplier for soldier systems

The cargo version of the Mission Master was exhibited to a large group of defence specialists for the first time at Eurosatory 2018. Rheinmetall developed this variant to reduce the combat load carried by troops in the field, contributing to faster movement and greater operational efficiency. Rheinmetall’s new robotic vehicle can operate in hazardous, difficult-to-reach terrain, in turn contributing to the survivability and protection of troops deployed in harm’s way.

Moreover, the Mission Master can be networked with advanced soldier systems such as Future Soldier – Expanded System, Gladius 2.0 or Argus. In Rheinmetall’s “System Infanterie”, the Mission Master serves as a force multiplier for infantry sections or squads equipped with Rheinmetall’s Future Soldier – Expanded System technology. Fully networked with dismounted combat troops, it not only takes a weight not only off the soldiers’ shoulders, it also relieves the pressure on military leaders.

Characterized by extreme flexibility, the Rheinmetall Mission Master can be quickly configured for a multitude of different missions thanks to modular, easy-to-install build-ons. Its mission capabilities include logistics, surveillance, force protection, evacuation of wounded personnel, firefighting and CBRN reconnaissance. It can also serve as a radio relay station. Speed, scalable autonomy and proven mobility in all types of terrain make the Mission Master a strong and dependable comrade for small combat units.

www.rheinmetall.com

Natick’s Exoskeleton Work is a Powerful Step Toward the Future of Soldier Lethality

Friday, October 19th, 2018

NATICK, Mass. — With exoskeleton technology, the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, is helping Soldiers to step into future.

The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is working with Lockheed Martin Space and Missile on a human augmentation system prototype. Trademarked under the name “ONYX,” the system is a powered, knee-based, mobility enhancing device that shows great potential for allowing Soldiers to stay in contact while maintaining peak performance longer, with equal or increased warfighting power. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo by Lockheed Martin Space and Missile)

Soldiers are the most important, effective platform in the U.S. Army. In finite quantity, these warfighters are being asked to move farther, faster, and carry larger loads — all while performing under harsh and challenging conditions. Responding to the Army Chief of Staff and the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team, NSRDEC awarded an “Other Transaction Agreement” for a human augmentation system prototype to Lockheed Martin Space and Missile, or LMCO.

Trademarked under the name “ONYX,” the system is a powered, knee-based, mobility enhancing device that shows great potential for allowing Soldiers to stay in contact while maintaining peak performance longer, with equal or increased warfighting power.

The NSRDEC’s exoskeleton effort will initially focus on the challenges faced by Army Close Combat Forces, validating their needs with data from ongoing combat operations, reports, user focus groups and validation Table Top Exercises.

Understanding that 90 percent of casualties since WWII are from the Close Combat Force, the Army Chief of Staff has directed that one of his strategic focus areas emphasizes improving the lethality, maneuverability, mobility and survivability of the Army’s most valuable asset — the individual combatant. The Army seeks to cover more ground with fewer forces through strategic systems that integrate innovative technological concepts such as exoskeletons, other worn advanced capabilities, and tactics.

Working with NSRDEC leads, the LMCO ONYX team will integrate user-based feedback into the new design and improved system performance and deliver demonstration-ready prototypes in FY19.

By NSRDEC Public Affairs