Automated Deployable Robust Training System

Period of Performance: 09/16/2016 - 09/25/2017

$534K

Phase 2 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 Phase II Automated Deployable Robust Training (ADROIT) System, a 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, automated, flexible, scalable, modular, and robust, with a focus on training efficiency. Animals can be trained for a variety of field-use scenarios using the system. The ADROIT system will incorporate graphical user interface software featuring an automated scoring system to objectively measure a suite of metrics, including each individual animal's accuracy, sensitivity, and detection speed. The proposed work is the evolution of a previous, highly successful effort to develop a first generation system. Animals will be trained in custom, modular operant chambers using Pavlovian conditioning procedures following an optimized multi-stage behavioral shaping protocol. The ADROIT system will automatically compute performance statistics and advance individuals animals through the training process at an adaptive pace. 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 reliability and operational efficiency.