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Solution Found for Battlefield Robot Control Problem
American Reliance provides an intermediate solution for robot control while Common Operator Control Unit stil under development.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Jan 14, 2010

More Security and Defense stories
By utilizing a patented FLEXkit consisting of a hardened computer, multiple, proprietary Radio Control Modules (RCMs) and a swappable hard drive, American Reliance provides an intermediate, plug-and-play solution for a single, common control system for robots and other devices.

American Reliance Inc. (AMREL), developer of customized interoperable solutions, announced that it has solved a major control problem of battlefield unmanned systems.

“Our solution is going to save lives,” proclaims Michael Castillo, Senior Application Architect (Robotics) for AMREL. “Right now, control systems are a big headache for robots in theater. At least 42 separate Operator Control Units (OCUs) are used to command robots in Iraq and Afghanistan. The vast majority controls only a single type of unmanned system and cannot be modified to control others.”

This “stove-pipe” engineering of dedicated OCUs prevents single-operator control of multiple robots, which limits the benefit of force-multiplication. It also increases cost of ownership, complicates training, challenges logistics, and hampers mission flexibility. The Department of Defense is set to develop a common control system for most robots by 2012.

“Our guys can’t wait that long,” declares Mr. Castillo. “The lack of robot interoperability continues to jeopardize our men and women in uniform, so AMREL has come up with an immediate solution.”

When a soldier wants to change control systems, explains Mr. Castillo, he simply switches Radio Control Modules on his ROCKY rugged computer. Based on a deployed, battle-tested, mature solution, no special equipment or expertise is required, and can be done quickly by soldiers in the field.

“We call it ‘Field Expedient Interoperability,’” says Mr. Castillo. “We expect a more technologically advanced solution to be developed eventually. In the meantime, our Radio Control Modules enable a soldier in the field to switch applications as easily as changing a tire. Our soldiers don’t have to wait to 2012 for common control.”

For more information, visit

About Amrel
American Reliance Inc. (AMREL) designs and manufactures small-footprint, highly integrated, rugged mobile computing solutions for OCUs. Our modular single solution approach minimizes peripheral devices, the total cost, as well as space and weight requirements. Quickly and easily modified, a single OCU can command and control a wide array of Unmanned Systems.

Bill Finn
P:  626-443-6818, Ext 215

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