The current state of technology for small UGVs is varied and complex. For example, small UGVs utilized by the Army in the field are required to perform a variety of tasks such as surveillance, under car inspection, and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), quite often in hostile environments. Small UGV platforms range from fast reconnaissance vehicles with simple payloads to slower vehicles with limited mobility and complex manipulators. The U.S. Army is seeking to bridge the gap between the two by developing a fast, agile UGV with a simple manipulator arm.
“We are extremely pleased to have been selected by the U.S. Army to develop a highly maneuverable unmanned ground vehicle. This program is completely in line with our unmanned system and robotic manipulator expertise,” states Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer for RE2, Inc. “We plan to work closely with industry experts and military users to design a system that meets the needs and requirements of our deployed forces.”
During the six-month Phase I, RE2 will do the following:
- Develop the initial design for the vehicle and manipulator
- Model the system to demonstrate the potential performance specifications
- Provide documentation of design tradeoffs and feasibility analysis
RE2 will partner with unmanned systems manufacturers, Foster-Miller, Inc. and Exponent, Inc., during Phase I for industry insight, technical resources, and commercialization guidance. “Foster-Miller is pleased to partner with RE2 in the design and development of the small unmanned inspection vehicle,” stated Edward J. Godere, vice president, group director, Power Systems Technology Group, Foster-Miller, Inc. “We will leverage our understanding of unmanned ground vehicles, as seen with the TALON® platform, by providing our expertise and system design to RE2.”
“Exponent looks forward to working closely with RE2 in the creation of a high speed, highly maneuverable UGV in the first phase of this Army SBIR. We consider RE2 to be one of the leading small businesses focusing on unmanned system and robotic manipulator technologies,” stated Ri-Chee Chou, managing engineer, Exponent, Inc. “Exponent will contribute to this effort by drawing from our unmanned systems expertise, including the development and manufacture of MARCbot robots, a dedicated inspection robot currently in extensive use in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Jessica Jordan Pedersen
COO, re2, Inc.