This paper discusses robot behaviors and an interaction scheme between the robot and the operator
needed to facilitate both the near and long term future AMDS program goals. The behaviors necessary
to meet the AMDS goals include guarded motion, shared control driving, ground scanning with height
control, and mobile manipulation capabilities such as automated reaching, object scanning and
particulate sampling. The Operator Control Unit (OCU) is also discussed together with innovative
concepts for interface design including visualization and tasking tools. The paper also discusses how
these behaviors can support the near-term manufacture and deployment of payloads to support
dismounted combat missions.
The Army Future Combat System (FCS) Operational Requirement Document has identified a number of advanced robot
tactical behavior requirements to enable the Future Brigade Combat Team (FBCT). The FBCT advanced tactical
behaviors include Sentinel Behavior, Obstacle Avoidance Behavior, and Scaled Levels of Human-Machine control
Behavior. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, (TRADOC) Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) has
also documented a number of robotic behavior requirements for the Army non FCS forces such as the Infantry Brigade
Combat Team (IBCT), Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), and Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT). The general
categories of useful robot tactical behaviors include Ground/Air Mobility behaviors, Tactical Mission behaviors,
Manned-Unmanned Teaming behaviors, and Soldier-Robot Interface behaviors. Many DoD research and development
centers are achieving the necessary components necessary for artificial tactical behaviors for ground and air robots to
include the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
(RDECOM), Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center, US Army Tank-Automotive Research,
Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and non DoD labs such as Department of Energy (DOL).
With the support of the Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise (JGRE) through DoD and non DoD labs the Army Maneuver
Support Center has recently concluded successful field trails of ground and air robots with specialized tactical behaviors
and sensors to enable semi autonomous detection, reporting, and marking of explosive hazards to include Improvised
Explosive Devices (IED) and landmines. A specific goal of this effort was to assess how collaborative behaviors for
multiple unmanned air and ground vehicles can reduce risks to Soldiers and increase efficiency for on and off route
explosive hazard detection, reporting, and marking.
This paper discusses experimental results achieved with a robotic countermine system that utilizes autonomous behaviors
and a mixed-initiative control scheme to address the challenges of detecting and marking buried landmines. Emerging
requirements for robotic countermine operations are outlined as are the technologies developed under this effort to
address them. A first experiment shows that the resulting system was able to find and mark landmines with a very low
level of human involvement. In addition, the data indicates that the robotic system is able to decrease the time to find
mines and increase the detection accuracy and reliability. Finally, the paper presents current efforts to incorporate new
countermine sensors and port the resulting behaviors to two fielded military systems for rigorous assessing.
The Technology Transfer project employs a spiral development process to enhance the functionality and autonomy of mobile systems in the Joint Robotics Program (JRP) Robotic Systems Pool (RSP). The approach is to harvest prior and on-going developments that address the technology needs identified by emergent in-theatre requirements and users of the RSP. The component technologies are evaluated on a transition platform to identify the best features of the different approaches, which are then integrated and optimized to work in harmony in a complete solution. The result is an enabling mechanism that continuously capitalizes on state-of-the-art results from the research environment to create a standardized solution that can be easily transitioned to ongoing development programs. This paper focuses on particular research areas, specifically collision avoidance, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and target-following, and describes the results of their combined integration and optimization over the past 12 months.
Unmanned vehicles perform critical mission functions. Today, fielded unmanned vehicles have restricted operations as a single asset controlled by a single operator. In the future, however, it is envisioned that multiple unmanned air, ground, surface and underwater vehicles will be deployed in an integrated unmanned (and "manned") team fashion in order to more effectively execute complex mission scenarios. To successfully facilitate this transition from single platforms to an integrated unmanned system concept, it is essential to first develop the required base technologies for multi-vehicle mission requirements, as well as test and evaluate such technologies in tightly controlled field experiments. Under such conditions, advances in unmanned technologies and associated system configurations can be empirically evaluated and quantitatively measured against relevant performance metrics. A series of field experiments will be conducted for unmanned force protection system applications. A basic teaming scenario is: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) detect a target of interest on the ground; the UAVs cue unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to the area; the UGVs provide on-ground evaluation and assessment; and the team of UAVs and UGVs execute the appropriate level of response. This paper details the scenarios and the technology enablers for experimentation using unmanned protection systems.
Current man-portable robotic systems are too heavy for troops to pack during extended missions in rugged terrain and typically require more user support than can be justified by their limited return in force multiplication or improved effectiveness. As a consequence, today’s systems appear organically attractive only in life-threatening scenarios, such as detection of chemical/biological/radiation hazards, mines, or improvised explosive devices. For the long term, significant improvements in both functionality (i.e., perform more useful tasks) and autonomy (i.e., with less human intervention) are required to increase the level of general acceptance and, hence, the number of units deployed by the user. In the near term, however, the focus must remain on robust and reliable solutions that reduce risk and save lives. This paper describes ongoing efforts to address these needs through a spiral development process that capitalizes on technology transfer to harvest applicable results of prior and ongoing activities throughout the technical community.
Micro-robots may soon be available for deployment by the thousands. Consequently, controlling and coordinating a force this large to accomplish a prescribed task is of great interest. This paper describes a flexible architecture for deploying thousands of autonomous robots simultaneously. The robots' behavior is based on a subsumption architecture in which individual behaviors are prioritized with respect to all others. The primary behavior explored in this paper is group formation behavior drawn from the work in social potential fields applications conducted by Reif and Wang, and Dudehoeffer and Jones. While many papers have examined the application of social potential fields in a simulation environment, this paper describes the implementation of this behavior in a collective of small robots.