Segway Robotics Contributes to Robots Becoming Army Squad Members

RMP 440X

The article “U.S. Army foresees robots becoming squad members – Autonomous, bomb-sensing vehicles and personal robotic assistants could transform teams of soldiers written by Sharon Gaudin appeared in Computerworld’s July 25, 2013 issue. To follow is an excerpt.

 

 

"We’re looking at the vehicle being able to decide when to assume responsibility," said Greg Hudas, the Army’s chief engineer for ground vehicle robots. "We’re looking into the problem of the machine understanding the consciousness of humans. Are they drowsy or are they so intent on another task that if they take control of the vehicle, will it be dangerous? The interaction needs to be tightly coupled between the human and the machine."

To get some of the "smarts" into the robots, the Army is working with 5D Robotics Inc., a robotics software company, which in turn is working with DRS Technologies and Segway Inc. 5D said it is trying to integrate human behaviors into robots, such as robotic assistants that carry soldier’s packs or small wheeled robots the size of a big shoe box that can carry cameras into dangerous areas.

Jackie Fenn, an analyst with Gartner Inc. said, "I do like that notion of the robotic assistant. What work you can offload to robots is a very promising angle. But trust is critical. You really get that by having it work. When humans see that there are things they wouldn’t be able to do without a robot, that’s when the real change in thinking happens. If you can send a robot in to check out a building and keep a soldier back and safe, then that really adds value."

5D Robotice   DRS

To learn more, please view the original article in its entirety here. To review additional and related coverage, please click here.

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Segway’s RMP440 LE Works with 5D Robotics’ Software to Lighten a Soldier’s Load

A recent collaboration between Rapid Equipping Force and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence brought together solutions from  Segway RoboticsDRS Technologies and 5D Robotics to perform a comprehensive ‘lighten a soldier’s load’ evaluation at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. The robot’s mission was to follow and keep up with a squad while transporting a heavy payload and navigating a lengthy distance of varied terrain.

The assessment tested the Segway® RMP (Robotics Mobility Platform) 440 LE’s ability to carry 200 pounds of critical equipment including soldiers’ packs, sandbags, food and water and the ability of 5D Robotics’ Behavior Engine™ software to direct the platform.

Segway’s RMP440 LE

Segway’s RMP440 LE is a rugged, all-terrain, four-wheel drive mobility platform. Its design empowers developers to easily integrate their own equipment on top of the platform and build a customized application to meet specific needs. Click here to download a spec sheet.

5D’s Behavior Engine or “Follow Me” Technology

5D’s “follow me” technology acknowledges that like humans, robots need assistance to find their way. Once a human empowers a robot, they are capable of executing a multitude of tasks reliably and effectively.

5D’s solution emphasizes rapid, reactive, biologically inspired behavioral responses as opposed to the GPS, mapping, planning and continuous communication relied on by competitive solutions. It uses an innovative intelligent tag approach to guide interaction between robots and humans as well as between robots and other vehicles or objects.

5D’s Safety Commitment

1. Robot motion should be fast, responsive and graceful

2. Robot motion should be predictable and reliable to engender trust

3. Robots should never touch the human body unless explicitly told to do so

The AssessmentRMP440

The Segway RMP440 LE was fully loaded with equipment and included a generator that could be used to charge soldiers’ equipment. Over the course of 9 hours, the robot successfully followed the squad as well as traversed 16 miles of varied terrain without additional fuel or battery power. In fact, the robot maintained 33% of its generator fuel and 50% of its battery life.

The Evaluation

Soldier evaluations noted that the robot kept up with the patrol throughout the mission, was easy to understand and natural to use. Soldiers also valued the robot’s ability to carry a considerable amount of heavy gear.

Read Complete Coverage

Please click here to download a PDF of the article Keep on Running – 5D Robotics Tests Endurance Through Human-Robot Interaction Military Tests from 5D Robotics’ website.

Editorial Note

DRS Technologies’ Adaptive Mission Payload (AMP) kit and systems integration with the Segway RMP440 LE was originally tested at Fort Benning during the JIEDDO’s Endurance Challenge in June 2012. Click here  to view the blog post Adaptive Mission Payload Solution Wins Second Pace in JIDDEO’s Endurance Challenge.

See the RMP440 LE in Action

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Stay connected with Segway Robotics by checking out the the RMP Customer Forum, visiting the Segway Robotics website to sign up for our newsletter and RSS feed or following us on Twitter.

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If you are interested in learning more about the RMP440 LE or 5D Robotics Technology, contact us today.

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Meet HERB — a Home Exploring Robotic Butler

HERB, the Home Exploring Robot Butler created by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, is the star of the latest video in Oreo’s ongoing “Cookie vs. Creme” campaign. HERB was built by integrating a Segway RMP 200 with additional robotic functions.

HERB is the research platform of the Personal Robotics Lab and is a testbed for algorithms, software and other technology that will enable robots to perform challenging manipulation tasks where people live and work.

These videos are behind-the-scenes looks at HERB and his creators, associate professor Siddhartha Srinivasa, Ph.D. student Jennifer King and project scientist Pras Velagapudi. Click here to read Carnegie Mellon University’s blog post and learn more.

For more info about research and development opportunities, please contact us. Click here to read a past blog post about HERB.

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ARTI – Featured in Ground Combat Technology Magazine

Segway’s newest mobile robot prototype, ARTI, was featured in the December 2012 issue of Ground Combat Technology Magazine. Please click here to read the issue.

Segway’s ARTI is a functional prototype unmanned vehicle chassis that features articulated steering for exceptional off-road performance. Its potential applications as a mobile platform for robotic systems used by warfighters and leveraged for the ground combat market are wide reaching.

In an effort to further refine this proof-of-concept, which is sure to become a relevant component of powerful and efficient ground combat systems, Segway would like to collaborate with defense customers interested in using ARTI for our mutual mobile robotics research.

Features  

The ARTI platform leverages articulated steering and can accommodate the transportation of heavier payloads over more aggressive terrain. It utilizes a two degree of freedom joint to permit roll and yaw rotation. This flexibility enables the platform to quietly traverse challenging terrain while continually maintaining four points of contact with the ground.

The ARTI platform leverages Segway’s latest RMP Centralized Controller Architecture, which allows simple and intuitive communication with the platform over Ethernet, CAN or USB. System designers can set a variety of performance parameters including acceleration and deceleration rate limits, turning radius and top speed. An integrated auxiliary power module provides DC power for task specific sensors, radios and other equipment and payload items.

Segway Robotics – ARTI Prototype Specifications:

▪ Length: 53 inches
▪ Width: 33 inches
▪ Height: 23 inches
▪ Weight: 300 lbs.
▪ Ground Clearance: 11 inches
▪ Maximum All-Terrain Payload Capacity: 600 lbs. (targeted)
▪ Maximum Forward/Backward Speed: Up to 18 mph/ 8.0 m/s
▪ Turn Envelope: Features a 4.5 foot turning radius, which enables it to turn around in an area smaller than one lane of a standard road.
▪ Battery Chemistry: Lithium Ion (LiFeP04)
▪ Run Time: Up to 20 hours in standby mode 

These specifications are preliminary and do not necessarily represent this prototype’s limitations.

Would you like to stay connected with Segway Robotics? You can — by checking out the RMP Customer Forum, visiting Segway Robotics to sign up for our newsletter and RSS feed or following us on Twitter.

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Segway Announces Its Newest RMP — ARTI

Intro

ARTI is Segway’s latest Robotics Mobility Platform (RMP) prototype. Its name (an abbreviation of the word ‘articulate’) was derived from the platform’s articulated steering method. ARTI is based on the same core propulsion and interface hardware that is standard in the rest of the RMP line, but was further developed by Segway’s engineers to become a functional prototype with exceptional capabilities.

Overview

The ARTI platform utilizes a two degree of freedom joint to permit roll and yaw rotation. This flexibility enables the platform to traverse aggressive terrain while continually maintaining four points of contact with the ground. It is the first Segway RMP platform that does not have the ability to turn in place. However, it does feature a 4.5 foot turning radius, which enables it to turn around in an area smaller than one lane of a standard road.

Capabilities

ARTI’s articulated steering enables it to carry heavier payloads over more aggressive terrain as compared to our similar sized skid-steer platforms. In fact, payload is now limited only by the structural load limits of the gearboxes, wheels and tires instead to being dictated by the torque required to overcome the friction forces associated with skid-steering. ARTI is capable of quietly traveling longer distances with more payload than any other four wheel platform Segway has ever developed.

Features

The platform leverages the latest RMP Central Controller Architecture, which allows simple and intuitive communication with the platform over Ethernet, CAN or USB. Users can set a variety of performance parameters including acceleration and deceleration rate limits as well as turning radius. An optional integrated auxiliary power module provides DC power for task specific sensors, radios and other equipment and payload items. ARTI’s batteries can be fully charged in less than 3 hours via Segway’s new RMP external fast charger.

Availability

Segway is currently taking orders for ARTI platforms. It is important to note that ARTI is a prototype and does not yet have the level of finish that our production released commercial models do. However, if customer demand warrants it — and we expect that it may — this prototype will likely become part of our standard RMP product line.

Would you like to stay connected with Segway Robotics? You can — by checking out the RMP Customer Forum, visiting Segway Robotics to sign up for our newsletter and RSS feed or following us on Twitter.

 

Watch ARTI in Action!

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Video

Video

 

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Adaptive Mission Payload Solution Wins Second Place in JIEDDO’s Endurance Challenge

Robotics Rodeo
On June 22, DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc. in partnership with Segway and 5D Robotics competed in the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization’s (JIEDDO’s) Endurance Challenge at Fort Benning, Georgia. JIEDDOis an entity of the U.S. Department of Defense focused on reducing and eliminating the effects of all forms of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used against U.S. and Coalition Forces.The team’s Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) comprised of the Segway RMP-X440, 5D Robotics software and DRS Adaptive Mission Payload (AMP) systems integration earned second place in the ‘Dismounted’ category with a speed of 7.83 km/hour.  While much faster speeds are possible, this demonstration was intentionally focused on executing a functional behavior.  The limiting factor for speed was how fast the human leader could run 8.85 km in 94 degree heat.  The team demonstrated an autonomous leader/follower capability over the entire course, which set a record for the longest leader/follower behavior recorded by JIEDDO.

“Segway was honored to work with DRS and to take part in this Endurance Challenge,” said Al Kisler, Defense Strategy Advisor, Segway Inc. “The performance of the AMP solution speaks for itself.”

To view the official results of the JIEDDO 2012 Counter-IED Robotics Endurance Challenge in their entirety, please click here.  For additional information on DRS’ AMP, please click here.

Stay connected with Segway Robotics by signing up for our newsletter and RSS feed, visiting our RMP Customer Forum or by following us on Twitter.

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Thank You For Your Attendance at AUVSI

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Dear AUVSI Attendee,

We would like to thank you for your attendance at the 2011 AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America Expo.  We appreciate your visit to our booth to learn how Segway Inc.’s unmanned ground vehicle solutions can support your specific needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about Segway RMP robot platforms please visit: http://rmp.segway.com.

AUVSI Booth

Thanks again if you stopped by our booth at AUVSI 2011!

If you would like to contact Segway Inc. directly, please call 866-4SEGWAY or email rmp@segway.com.

Thank you,

Segway Robotics

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U.S. Marines Use Australian-based Marathon Robotics As Targets

U.S. Marines training for Middle East combat will have a newer, smarter enemy target to shoot at in the fall. They will be using targets built atop on both the Segway RMP200 and RMP400. Australian-based Marathon Robotics recently sold their robot practice targets to the United States Marines. Watch the video below for more information.

For more information on the full line of Segway’s robotic platforms, click here.

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RMP 400s on Display at FPED VIII

The Segway RMP 400‘s capabilities of being a true multi-payload, open interface and robust UGV are on display at FPED VIII, the eighth Force Protection Equipment Demonstration at the Stafford Regional Airport in Stafford, Virginia. Vendors Burchfield Automation, Air Force Research Lab and Technical Support Working Group each are demonstrating the RMP 400. If attending FPED VIII, please stop by these vendor’s booth for an up close look at the RMP 400‘s capabilities.

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Research and Development for Universities

Segway ground robot platforms are the ideal starting point for applications used in research and development at universities. Segway’s RMPs are designed with simplicity in mind, which means that universities will have the freedom to choose and integrate the best hardware for their specific application.

For example, a university that is currently using Segway RMPs in their research and development studies is the University of Philadelphia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

They have designed the PhillieBot, which is a one armed, three-wheeled robot built atop a Segway RMP 200. The PhillieBot has recently thrown the opening pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game. To learn more about the PhillieBot, check out the video below.


Video © Copyright 2011 Philadelphia Media Network Inc.


For more info about research and development opportunities please contact us or request a quote. For more information about the PhillieBot, click here.

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