Oshkosh Truck Awarded $1 Million from Defense Advanced Research Projects to Advance UGV Technology
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 04, 2006
Oshkosh Truck Corporation [NYSE: OSK] announced the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the company a contract to further develop unmanned ground vehicle technology in preparation for the third DARPA robotic competition, the Urban Challenge. DARPA granted the technology development award based on the merits of an extensive team proposal. The contract is valued up to $1 million.

Oshkosh Truck brings considerable experience to the Urban Challenge, having competed in each of the previous two challenges. In October 2005, the Oshkosh robotic truck, TerraMax, was one of only five entries to complete the course. Team Oshkosh also is uniquely positioned as one of the few teams in the competition that will employ a modified U.S. military vehicle to compete in the simulated urban environment. Oshkosh has partnered with Teledyne Scientific Company, The University of Parma in Italy, Auburn University in Alabama and Ibeo Automobile Sensor GmbH to develop the capabilities required to operate in an urban environment.

“We’re extremely pleased to have been selected by DARPA for this technology development award. Team Oshkosh’s efforts will be focused on enhancing the artificial intelligence and sensing systems of our TerraMax® robotic truck to compete in an urban environment rather than desert terrain,” said Gary Schmiedel, vice president, Advanced Products Engineering, Oshkosh Truck. “Our experiences at the previous Grand Challenge events have given us an excellent understanding of some of the technological challenges we’ll be facing. We’re confident in Team Oshkosh’s ability to field a highly competitive vehicle.”

In an effort to accelerate the development of unmanned technologies capable of merging into moving traffic, negotiating busy intersections and other obstacles associated with urban environments, DARPA is providing this funding to support technology development. To meet the technology development contract terms, Oshkosh Truck must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward pre-established technical criteria during four milestone development tests leading up to the competition.

The November 2007 Urban Challenge will build on the capabilities tested in the first two Grand Challenge events. The 2005 Grand Challenge was the first to produce robotic vehicles with the ability to complete a 132-mile desert course. Similarly, the 2007 Urban Challenge will test the unmanned vehicles’ ability to execute a simulated military mission within the confines of an urban area.

“The U.S. military hopes to make one third of its ground forces autonomous,” said Don Verhoff, executive vice president of engineering and technology for Oshkosh Truck. “Because of the military focus for this challenge and the long-term goals of the sponsoring agency, we have every reason to believe that TerraMax® represents the most realistic model for future defense applications.”

About Oshkosh Truck Corporation
Oshkosh Truck Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty commercial, fire and emergency and military trucks and truck bodies. Oshkosh’s products are valued worldwide by fire and emergency units, defense forces, municipal and airport support services, and concrete placement and refuse businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount.

More Information
For more information about Oshkosh Truck Corporation, log onto the company Web site at http://www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com.

In an effort to accelerate the development of unmanned technologies capable of merging into moving traffic, negotiating busy intersections and other obstacles associated with urban environments, DARPA is providing this funding to support technology development. To meet the technology development contract terms, Oshkosh Truck must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward pre-established technical criteria during four milestone development tests leading up to the competition.

The November 2007 Urban Challenge will build on the capabilities tested in the first two Grand Challenge events. The 2005 Grand Challenge was the first to produce robotic vehicles with the ability to complete a 132-mile desert course. Similarly, the 2007 Urban Challenge will test the unmanned vehicles’ ability to execute a simulated military mission within the confines of an urban area.

“The U.S. military hopes to make one third of its ground forces autonomous,” said Don Verhoff, executive vice president of engineering and technology for Oshkosh Truck. “Because of the military focus for this challenge and the long-term goals of the sponsoring agency, we have every reason to believe that TerraMax® represents the most realistic model for future defense applications.”

About Oshkosh Truck Corporation
Oshkosh Truck Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty commercial, fire and emergency and military trucks and truck bodies. Oshkosh’s products are valued worldwide by fire and emergency units, defense forces, municipal and airport support services, and concrete placement and refuse businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount.

More Information
For more information about Oshkosh Truck Corporation, log onto the company Web site at http://www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com.

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