EOD kit for unmanned ground vehicles demonstrated by Harris at AUVSI

DENVER, 27 Aug. 2010. Engineers at Harris in Melbourne Fla., are developing an explosives ordinance disposal (EOD) kit for unmanned ground vehicles and are displaying their latest version at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in Denver this week. The kit would enable EOD technicians to inspect explosive devices without having to directly touch the device by using robotic manipulators armed with sensors that give direct feedback wirelessly.

Aug 27th, 2010

Posted by John McHale

DENVER, 27 Aug. 2010. Engineers at Harris in Melbourne Fla., are developing an explosives ordinance disposal (EOD) kit for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) and are displaying their latest version at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in Denver this week. The kit would enable EOD technicians to inspect explosive devices without having to directly touch the device by using robotic manipulators armed with sensors that give direct feedback wirelessly.

The Wireless Haptic Manipulation System demonstrator uses an iRobot Packbot UGV, but can be used with any UGV, says Loran Wilkinson, electrical engineer at Harris and operator of the system at the Harris booth at AUVSI. He says the concept is one they had for years but recently U.S. military EOD experts asked Harris to come up with a new solution. It has not been fielded and is still in development and testing, Wilkinson adds.

The system provides wireless, haptic (touchless) feedback, dynamic scaling of force and motion which "allows for fine or rapid manipulation depending on situational need," according the Harris data sheet for the system.

The operator control unit (OCU) for the system is separate from the control system for the UGV, Wilkinson notes.

The system requires to BB-2590 batteries -- one for the UGV payload and one for the OCU, according to the data sheet. It also has a runtime of two hours depending on the task.

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