A low-cost unmanned ground vehicle designed to benchmark high-speed performance is presented. The E-Maxx four-wheel-drive
radio-controlled vehicle equipped with a Robostix controller is proposed as a low-cost, high-speed robotic platform useful for military
operations. The vehicle weighs less than ten kilograms making it easily portable by one person. Keeping cost low is a major
consideration in the design with the aim of providing a disposable military robot. The suitability of the platform was evaluated and
results are presented. Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) upgrades to the basic vehicle are recommended for durability. A procedure
was established for bird's-eye-view video recording to document vehicle dynamics. Driver/vehicle performance is quantified by entry
velocity, exit velocity and total time through a 90° turn on low-friction terrain. A setup for measuring these values is presented. Expert
drivers use controlled skidding to minimize time through turns and the long term goal of the project is to automate such expert behaviors.
Results of vehicle performance under human control are presented and stand as a reference for future autonomy.
A low-cost robotic arm and controller system is presented. The controller is a desktop model of the robotic arm with the
same degrees of freedom whose joints are equipped with sensors. Manipulating the controller by hand causes the robotic
arm to mimic the movement in maser-slave fashion. The system takes advantage of the low cost and wide availability of
hobby radio control components and uses a low-cost, easy-to-program microprocessor. The system is implemented with a
video camera on the robotic arm, and the arm is mounted on an unmanned omnidirectional vehicle inspection robot. With
a camera on the end of a robot arm, the vehicle inspection system can reach difficult to-access regions of the vehicle
underbody. Learning to manipulate the robot arm with this controller is faster than learning with a traditional joystick.
Limitations of the microcontroller are discussed, and suggestions for further development of the robot arm and control are