Exponent awarded advanced robotic controller contract by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 June 2004

Keywords

Citation

(2004), "Exponent awarded advanced robotic controller contract by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ir.2004.04931cab.005

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Exponent awarded advanced robotic controller contract by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force

Exponent awarded advanced robotic controller contract by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force

Keywords: Military, Robots

Exponent, Inc. has been awarded a contract by the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force to develop an advanced robotic controller based on commercial personal digital assistant (PDA) technology to provide an integrated control system for a broad base of robotic assets for soldiers in the field. The total contract value is $9.6 million, of which $4.6 million has been funded to date. Exponent's net revenue from the total contract is anticipated to be approximately $4.0 million. The contract began in August and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2004.

The Rapid Equipping Force's charter is to evaluate promising technologies and quickly put needed capabilities into the hands of our soldiers. Under this charter, the Rapid Equipping Force and Exponent rushed the development and deployment of integrated control systems with PackBot robots to assist in Operation Enduring Freedom in the summer of 2002. Exponent developed the control system, TM7, and purchased the PackBots, which were originally developed with DARPA funding as part of its Tactical Mobile Robotics program. These integrated systems are currently supporting the army in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Under the Advanced Robotic Controller program, Exponent will make further use of the PackBot as well as, several new aerial and ground platforms, including an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with autonomous lead and follow capabilities. Through an evolutionary, rapid prototyping methodology, Exponent will integrate these robotic platforms with advanced technologies for mapping and situational awareness, voice and data communications, sensor and weapons payloads, and other capabilities. To evaluate, integrate and test these technologies in a short time frame, Exponent will leverage the efforts of several subcontractors from industry and academia, as well as coordinate with various Department of Defense and Service organizations.

“Exponent is pleased to continue to assist the Army's Rapid Equipping Force with the development of technologies to aid our soldiers in combat,” commented President and CEO, Michael R. Gaulke. “Our Technology Development practice is committed to helping our military clients stay current with and benefit from rapidly evolving civilian technologies.”

For more information visit the Web site: www.exponent.com