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Security and Defense
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Robotics Consortium Awards First of $175M in DoD Contracts
The first seven contracts focus on research an development in communications, manipulation, perception and combat-specific tasks.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Jun 22, 2009

iRobot, which makes PackBot (above) for the Army and is developing Warrior (below), won two of the seven contracts.

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The Robotics Technology Consortium has announced (PDF) the winners of the first seven of the $175 million in contracts it is charged with giving out on behalf of the Dept. of Defense.

RTC, an industry group made up of both small and large robotics manufacturers and a smattering of colleges and universities with robotics engineering programs, was created in July of 2008 to coordinate research and development on robotic systems of interest to the U.S. military.

The DoD helped form the group because, officials said, its own planning and procurement staff were too tied up in supplying and supporting the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay proper attention to longer-range R&D projects.

Though the approach may streamline the process of granting robotics research contracts, an analysis in Robotics Business Review suggested that the contracts might be awarded only to members of the RTC. Though companies that work in the appropriate robotics technologies would naturally want to join the RTC, membership comes with a cost in both dues and time, putting an onus on smaller companies, the analysis said.

All five companies in this round of seven contract awards are members of RTC.

Contracts and lead companies on them are:

 

Winner: Silvus Technologies, Inc.

Contract: MIMO-Enabled Communication Links for NLOS Robotic Tele-operation Missions

 

Winner: Chatten Associates

Contract: Improved Depth Perception to Aid Tele-Operation

 

Winner: Sarnoff Corp.

Contract: Modular Software Architecture for Rapid Multi-robot Coordination, Mapping and Structure Characterization

 

Winner: iRobot Corp.

Contract: Sniper/Hostile Fire Defeat

 

Winner: iRobot Corp.

Contract: RTK-Remote Touch Kit

 

Winner: RE2, Inc.

Contract: Force and Tactile Sensing Based Manipulation

 

Winner: Sarnoff Corp.

Contract: Mapping in Complex Terrains



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