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30 April 2009 FOCU:S—future operator control unit: soldier
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The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD) has long been involved in autonomous asset control, specifically as it relates to small robots. Over the past year, CISD has been making strides in the implementation of three areas of small robot autonomy, namely platform autonomy, Soldier-robot interface, and tactical behaviors. It is CISD's belief that these three areas must be considered as a whole in order to provide Soldiers with useful capabilities. In addressing the Soldier-robot interface aspect, CISD has begun development on a unique dismounted controller called the Future Operator Control Unit: Soldier (FOCU:S) that is based on an Apple iPod Touch. The iPod Touch's small form factor, unique touch-screen input device, and the presence of general purpose computing applications such as a web browser combine to give this device the potential to be a disruptive technology. Setting CISD's implementation apart from other similar iPod or iPhone-based devices is the ARL software that allows multiple robotic platforms to be controlled from a single OCU. The FOCU:S uses the same Agile Computing Infrastructure (ACI) that all other assets in the ARL robotic control system use, enabling automated asset discovery on any type of network. Further, a custom ad hoc routing implementation allows the FOCU:S to communicate with the ARL ad hoc communications system and enables it to extend the range of the network. This paper will briefly describe the current robotic control architecture employed by ARL and provide short descriptions of existing capabilities. Further, the paper will discuss FOCU:S specific software developed for the iPod Touch, including unique capabilities enabled by the device's unique hardware.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Barry J. O'Brien, Cem Karan, and Stuart H. Young "FOCU:S—future operator control unit: soldier", Proc. SPIE 7332, Unmanned Systems Technology XI, 73320P (30 April 2009);

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