RE2 awarded US Army Phase II SBIR Program to Develop High-Speed Inspection Robot w/ Manipulator Arm
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 01, 2007
RE2, Inc., a leading provider of intelligent modular manipulation systems and JAUS software solutions, announced today that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program by the U.S. Army to further develop a small, high-speed, highly maneuverable unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) with a manipulator arm. Existing small UGV platforms range from fast reconnaissance vehicles with simple payloads to slower EOD vehicles with limited mobility and complex manipulators. The goal of the High Speed Inspection Robot (HSIR) program is to bridge the gap between the two by developing a fast, agile UGV with a manipulator arm.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Army to develop a best-of-breed robotic vehicle with high speed control, a modular manipulator, and improved mobility,” stated Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer of RE2, Inc. “The Phase II award of the HSIR program further validates our leadership and expertise in the areas of unmanned systems and intelligent modular manipulation technologies.”

During the 18-month Phase II SBIR, RE2 will develop and demonstrate a small high-speed inspection robot with a manipulator arm. The specifics of the Phase II program include:

- Create a prototype of the HSIR platform;

- Integrate the HSIR with a JAUS-based Operator Control Unit (OCU);

- Develop and integrate a plug-n-play manipulator arm;

- Test the HSIR with soldier operators in outdoor environments.

Pedersen continued, “In addition to the creation of new technology, this $730,000 award will enable RE2 to create new jobs and further establish Southwestern Pennsylvania as a key region and supplier of unmanned systems technology for the Department of Defense.”

“This award builds on RE2’s reputation as a leading developer of intelligent manipulation systems,” remarked Bill Thomasmeyer, president of the National Center for Defense Robotics and executive vice president of The Technology Collaborative. “Their success is further evidence of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s growing leadership in defense robotics.”

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