Small Robot Team System Design

Report No. ARL-TR-3107
Authors: Stuart H. Young and Hung Nguyen
Date/Pages: October 2003; 24 pages
Abstract: Small robots, unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and unattended ground sensors will be ubiquitous on the battlefield of the 21st century, principally to lower the exposure to harm of our ground forces in urban and open terrain. Teams of small collaborating physical agents conducting tasks such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition intelligence, chemical and biological agent detection, logistics, decoy, sentry, and communications relay will have advanced sensors, communications, and mobility characteristics. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is conducting research in sensor fusion, communications, and processing on small mobile robotic platforms principally in the urban environment in support of Military Operations in Urban Terrain. This report discusses ongoing research at ARL that supports the development of multirobot collaboration. Commercial all-terrain robotic vehicle and packbot robots from iRobot are being used along with advanced battlefield visualization tools and other tools to effectively command and control teams of collaborating robots and present the gathered information in a manner that is useful to the commander. The software architecture and the modular packaging designs will be the focus of the report, which also consider mother ship concepts. Additionally, work that has been conducted with Project Manager Soldier Systems to integrate robotic platforms with the Land Warrior ensemble will be discussed, as well as with the Objective Force Warrior program.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2003