WL Gore & Assoc

Archive for the ‘Robotics’ Category

Unmanned Technology: Breaching the Battlefield

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Soldiers, Marines, Department of Defense civilians, and troops from the United Kingdom observed and tested a series of unmanned, remote-controlled ground vehicles during a combined training event at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, April 2, 2018.

CD9CEEA3-68EA-4444-9EFF-259B46EE4724
A M58 Wolf is remotely controlled to release a cloud of smoke during a multinational joint equipment U.S. military training exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, April 2, 2018 in preparation for a Robotic Complex Breach Concept demonstration.

The training event was conducted in preparation for a larger demonstration of unmanned capabilities, called the Robotic Complex Breach Concept, scheduled for later this week.

E7A45898-0C0B-4D9A-8DA4-1A2A31BF98CC
Ray Moldovan (left), a senior product management specialist with General Dynamics, explains to a group of U.S. Army Soldiers how to remotely control a M58 Wolf during a multinational joint equipment training exercise.

“Being able to take Soldiers out of harm’s way and accomplish the mission is very an attractive option to any commander,” said Curry. “It’s a capability that the enemy will not know how to counteract when we implement it. This type of technology enables us to stretch further while conserving resources,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jesse Curry, commander of the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

AB02890D-84DA-4748-A276-AC007E9B71EE
An automated direct and indirect mortar system is operated from a distance by U.S. Soldiers during a multinational joint equipment training exercise with the U.S. military.

The military-vehicle mounted Automated Direct and Indirect Mortar, the M58 Wolf Smoke Generator, and the ‘Terrier’ armored digger were some of the existing technologies used throughout the exercise. All were outfitted with new technology that allows them to be remotely controlled.

F80ADF90-08D9-4B0C-B09B-232820122053
An automated direct and indirect mortar system is operated from a distance by U.S. Soldiers during a multinational joint equipment training exercise.

“This has been a great opportunity to show each other how to work on new systems, as well as each other’s systems,” said U.K. army Staff Sgt. Joe Ferries, a combat engineer with the U.K. 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade. “All the lessons learned here are going to have massive benefits for our armies and the next mission.”

B410FE07-5451-4427-BBE8-9354495BB832
Mike Mackiewicz (right), demonstrates to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jesse Curry (left), the commander of the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, the capabilities of an automated direct and indirect mortar system.

Ferries, the U.K. soldier who supervised a portion of the training, said he believes this kind of training is a natural part of improving any military.

32372FF2-F4C9-4055-8457-E26FA2189E3D
A “Terrier” armored digger from the United Kingdom’s 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade is remotely controlled to secure an area.

“This training its quite relevant,” said Ferries. “We will always have to compare and improve our procedures and technologies.”

00B7D4C6-4140-47A9-B861-54AB97708E6B
U.K. army Staff Sgt. Joe Ferries, a combat engineer with the 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade, instructs a group of U.S. Soldiers, Marines, and Department of Defense civilians on how to remotely control a Terrier armored digger.

The U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, the 82nd BEB, and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, and the U.S. Marine Corp’s Engineer School were among some of the units observing the training. Each unit’s service members got a chance to test the equipment and provide feedback to developers.

27F0B557-256A-4C7B-BD8E-7C48E0B11D45
U.K. Lance Cpl. Tom Alexander (center), a combat engineer with the U.K. 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade, shows U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jesse Curry (left) and Capt. Nick Hyde, both with the 82nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, how to remotely operate a Terrier armored digger.

The Robotic Complex Breach Concept exercise will further test the capabilities of the new equipment, which is designed to enhance existing intelligence, suppression, obscuration, and reduction capabilities for breach operations.

4468C59C-46ED-42BC-91FD-CF009C3659F5
A “Terrier” armored digger from the United Kingdom’s 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade, is remotely controlled during a multinational joint equipment training exercise with the U.S. military.

“This was testing of genuine and unique technology, partnered with cutting-edge development to address a complicated problem,” said Curry, who has served in the military for over 20 years. “Our potential enemy’s goal is to counteract what we have in our inventory, so we need to incorporate additional technology to enable our Soldiers to be successful in their jobs.”

Story and photos by SPC Hubert Delany
22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Army Researchers Advance ‘Third Arm’ Project to Next Testing Phase

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soldiers may be asked to carry heavier, more lethal weapons in the near future, but they soon might have a “third arm” to improve their accuracy and reduce fatigue.

Using a mechanical apparatus that resembles something out of a sci-fi movie, the lightweight device will help redistribute some of the burden Soldiers carry in their arms and shoulders to their abdomen. Engineers at the Army Research Lab here have been developing a mechanical “third arm” that attaches to a user’s back hip.

Army Research Lab engineer Dan Baechle demonstrates how to strap on the “Third Arm,” a mechanical device designed to improve Soldiers’ accuracy and reduce fatigue. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Joe Lacdan)

The project, unveiled last year at a conference, is scheduled to be tested again sometime this spring with a minimum of 15 Soldiers.

“Right now we have a prototype that’s essentially a research platform that we’re using to investigate different types of materials — how materials and structures can stabilize a weapon or a shield, reduce fatigue on the Soldiers’ arms, but also improve accuracy,” said mechanical engineer Dan Baechle.

The project is currently on its second prototype model with improvements based on Soldier feedback. Some of the improvements include an extendable hinge plate so that a single plate can fit Soldiers of different sizes and body types. Baechle said further research must be completed before the device can be fielded. The current prototype at 3.5 pounds can now support weapons such as the M249 light machine gun that weighs about 27 pounds.

The project not only helps stabilize weapons, but can aid Soldiers for defensive purposes while carrying 20-pound shields. The project team developed a custom mount that connects from the arm to the shield so Soldiers can use the Third Arm to help alleviate muscle fatigue.

The “Third Arm” project is being developed not only for weapons but for defensive purposes. Army researchers at Aberdeen Proving Ground created a special mount to attach the apparatus to a shield and also provide stability and balance. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Joe Lacdan)

Concept development began in late 2015 when ARL engineers brainstormed ideas on how to make a dismounted Soldier more lethal. Engineers began building the first prototypes in 2016. The focus of the project centered on providing stability for dismounted Soldier. ARL engineers are examining different types of spring materials to further balance the weapon against gravity. Baechle said they used a carbon fiber material in the current prototype because of its light weight and density.

“We started out with just trying to think of a way to help improve the lethality for the dismounted Soldier,” Baechle said. “Generally that means stabilizing the weapon or giving the Soldier a more powerful weapon. Can we stabilize that weapon to improve accuracy? But also if we’re stabilizing the weapon and taking the load off of the Soldiers’ arms, does that improve the Soldier’s readiness? Does it also improve the Soldier’s accuracy with the weapon?”

Last summer, six Soldiers volunteered to take part in a pilot study, where researchers placed electromyography sensors to measure muscle activity. In particular, when holding a weapon or shield for extended periods of time, the arm begins to shake, impacting shooter accuracy. The six-person research team tested Soldiers firing weapons with and without the apparatus.

“We found that it reduced the fatigue and reduced the muscle activation for some Soldiers,” Baechle said, explaining that data is being used to motivate a larger trial this year with more Soldiers. This year he also plans to get more feedback on what Soldiers think about the device and what should be changed.

Last year researchers collected data on how much muscles were firing with the use of the third arm compared to without it.

“There are studies showing that, if you hold a weight out at arm’s length, eventually your arm starts shaking,” Baechle said. “And that shaking is going to reduce your accuracy with the weapon … and if you’re holding a shield, it’s going to reduce the amount of time that you can hold that shield. So we’re taking that weight of the weapon or the shield off of the arms and transferring it back to the torso.”

While the test yielded positive results, Baechle said some of the Soldiers had problems with the device. Improvements made this year include changing the mounting location from the front of the Soldier’s vest to the back.

Researchers hope to further improve the device to make it more comfortable and reduce fatigue even more. They are continually attempting to make adjustments to the device to boost a shooter’s accuracy.

Baechle demonstrated how ARL researchers use a motion capture system, using monitors and infra-red targeting to track a Soldier’s weapon and target.

“We use this system to evaluate both how subjects or Soldiers move the weapon and with and without the third arm,” Baechle said. “But also how the arm improves the accuracy or changes the aim point while they’re using the weapon.”

Finally researchers hope the project can reduce some of the recoil force after firing a weapon.

“You have a lighter weight weapon but potentially a higher caliber weapon which normally would increase the recoil on your shoulder,” Baechle said. “Could you use Third Arm and some clever materials on the arm to redirect that recoil back toward the body and thus allow the Soldier to wield a higher energy weapon without necessarily burdening the Soldier more?”

By Joe Lacdan, Army News Service

Mawashi UPRISE Exoskeleton

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Last year we introduced the Mawashi UPRISE Exoskeleton to you. It’s an human powered system, designed to reduce injuries and fatigue.

This video shows Mawashi personnel demonstrating the Exoskeleton in various Simulated Training and Operational Environments, including:

·         Gait Kinematics Analysis in Biomechanical Laboratory
·         Obstacle Course Training
·         Close-Quarter Combat (CQC) / Close-Quarter Battle (CQB)
·         Tactical Urban Rappelling
·         Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Environment
·         Amphibious Assault with Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC)
·         Stealth Amphibious Operations with Closed-Circuit Rebreather
·         Scouting & Patrolling in Woodland Environment
·         Rapid Mobile Assault with Lightweight Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (LTATV)
·         Long-Range Sniper Reconnaissance & Infiltration with Ghillie Suit
·         Tactical Mountain Rappelling
·         Emergency Exfiltration under Heavy Mortar Fire
·         Open Ground Firefight with Assault Rifle

www.mawashi.net

Team Polaris Unveils MRZR X

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

 

MINNEAPOLIS and ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (February 6, 2018) — Team Polaris is displaying its advanced MRZR® X multi-mode, connected vehicle platform for the first time this week at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems show. As military forces worldwide look to lighten the warfighter’s load now and smartly network vehicles in the multi-domain battlefield in the coming years, the MRZR X provides an evolving, robotics capable, multi-mission platform. In addition, the MRZR X provides worldwide commonality with the MRZRs already in service in the U.S. and more than 30 allied nations.

“The MRZR is the preferred platform among infantry units and Special Forces worldwide, which helps make its integration and the transition from manned to unmanned systems easier for the warfighter,” said John Olson, PhD, vice president and general manager of Polaris Government and Defense. “The MRZR X maintains the MRZR mission profile and payload our customers are accustomed to, plus it has additional robotic and networked capabilities to further support warfighters.”

The MRZR X provides warfighters with a modular support platform and various modes of operation: traditional operator driving and multiple levels of autonomy, including the capability for remote control, teleoperation, follow-me, leader-follower and full autonomy. This allows the MRZR X to enhance and evolve mobility in varying roles, such as robotic equipment mule, autonomous resupply, warfighter-driven squad carrier, logistics support vehicle, rescue missions and high-speed casualty evacuation. In the future, the connectivity of the MRZR X will provide the ability to act as a networked node in the multi-domain battlespace.

ARA has been producing Modular Robotic Applique Kits (M-RAKs) for more than 20 years, with a specialty in off-road robotics, further enhanced by the acquisition of Neya Systems. The advanced MRZR X fully integrates the autonomy systems and optimally places the sensors to safeguard the technology while keeping the physical and software architecture open so it can spiral in future technology. The vehicle drivetrain is powerful and reliable, allowing for longer missions, high speeds and silent drive when needed – all on the very familiar, sustainable and intuitive MRZR platform.

Polaris Industries Inc., Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA) and Neya Systems LLC formally teamed in 2017. The Team Polaris MRZR® X evolves squad mobility with advanced unmanned systems technology from ARA and the pioneering and unsurpassed autonomous systems behavior of Neya Systems. Team Polaris has many pursuits – together and individually – with U.S. services, allied militaries and commercial programs.

Team Polaris Stands Out in Army SMET Program

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017


Polaris, ARA and Neya Systems Collaborate with MRZR® X Submission

AAE235E8-83E6-4F1D-B03E-6872D0E99568

MINNEAPOLIS and ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (September 25, 2017) — Polaris Industries Inc., Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA) and Neya Systems LLC have teamed to provide the U.S. Army with an elite platform for the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program: the Team Polaris MRZR® X, that will evolve squad mobility with advanced unmanned systems technology from ARA and the pioneering and unsurpassed autonomous systems behavior of Neya Systems.

“The MRZR X provides a modular, multi-mission platform for the U.S. Army’s SMET program to provide squad overmatch, no matter what the mission. It is based on the very familiar Polaris MRZR platform – and creates an optionally manned platform,” said John Olson, PhD, vice president and general manager of Polaris Government and Defense. “Off-road autonomy is challenging, but no one does off-road better than Polaris. And absolutely no one does off-road robotics and autonomy better than ARA and Neya Systems.”

C1843A7A-9B22-493B-9AFE-3C80A5EBC941

The modular MRZR is a prolific and preferred platform among infantry units in the U.S. and more than 25 allied countries, which helps make its integration and the transition from manned to unmanned vehicles easier for the Army and the soldier. The MRZR X maintains the same mission profile the Army is accustomed to, with additional capabilities for the soldiers that exceed SMET base requirements.

ARA is an employee-owned scientific research and engineering company that acquired Neya Systems earlier this year. Neya Systems is known for their development of unmanned systems for defense, homeland security, and commercial users. Neya Systems staff, under the continued leadership of Parag Batavia, PhD, have been recognized worldwide for their contributions in advanced unmanned systems technology, including Batavia’s development of open architecture used universally by the Department of Defense.

“With the combined skills and expertise of Neya Systems and ARA, we’re able to bring world-class robotic solutions to Team Polaris to provide the U.S. soldier with advanced capabilities, a lightened physical load, and increased situational awareness to equip them for the multi-domain battlefield,” says ARA’s President and CEO, Rob Sues, PhD.

Australia’s Diggerworks Studies Exoskeletons

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Diggerworks is undertaking a feasibility study to determine the potential utility of a passive exoskeleton for ADF dismounted close combatants. The intended purpose of the systems is to transfer the weight burden of the soldiers’ carried equipment directly to the ground, helping the dismounted soldier arrive at their destination less fatigued and ready for battle.

As part of the exoskeleton trial, participants were fitted with a surrogate suit made of 3D printed plastic. The surrogate suit was fitted to ensure measurements were correct prior to manufacturing titanium suits.

img_3593.jpg

This looks to be the Mawashi UPRISE Tactical Exoskeleton we recently covered.

© Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence, Photo: CAPT Brendan Gilbert

Endeavor Robotics Will Be At Booth 2021 At SOFIC

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Endeavor Robotics

Click to view .pdf

Endeavor Robotics is a Massachusetts-based robotics company which is a designer and supplier of robots for Defense, Law Enforcement, and industrial industries worldwide. They will be at SOFIC 2017, Booth 2021, displaying the Kobra system with integrated Remote Operated Weapons Mount System from Precision Remote, along with their uPoint Multi-Robot Control System.

endeavorrobotics.com

AFCEA TechNet 2015 – Cyphy Works – PARC

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

PARC

Click to view .pdf

This is a cool man portable drone that is tether-powered up to 500′ for persistent ISR surveillance. No need for helium or aerostat techs. While it is not silent, it does not present that “barrage balloon” visual signature that provides instant recognition and navigation landmarks for smelly bearded men for miles around.

The interface and controls are automated. Joe doesn’t need to be a professional or trained drone pilot. Punch in the altitude desired on the laptop software control console and up it goes. Stable to about 35 kts. The whole system can be packed into airline checkable cases.

www.cyphyworks.com

Submitted by Fly On The Wall