An Automated Deployable Robust Training System

Period of Performance: 08/20/2015 - 02/29/2016

$149K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Barron Assoc., Inc.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22901
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Virginia
351 McCormick Rd ECE Dept., Thornton Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Institution POC

Abstract

Barron Associates, Inc. proposes to develop the Automated Deployable Robust Training (ADROIT) System, an automated and comprehensive environment to train and deploy vertebrates to detect and mark landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) quickly and accurately. The ADROIT system will be designed to be cost-effective and robust, with a focus on training efficiency. The ADROIT system will incorporate an automated scoring system to objectively measure a suite of metrics, including each individual animal's accuracy, sensitivity, and detection speed. The proposed work represents the evolution of a previous, highly successful effort to develop a first generation automated training system. Using the ADROIT system, animals will be trained in custom, modular operant chambers using Pavlovian conditioning procedures following a multi-stage behavioral shaping protocol optimized for the present application. The ADROIT system will automatically compute performance statistics and advance individuals animals through the training process at an appropriate pace using software located on a computing base station. The animals will wear a custom, patent pending electronics jacket that will wirelessly relay detection information in real-time. The ADROIT system's modular nature will facilitate both parallel training and field deployment to increase detection robustness.