Advanced Wearable Computer Interface for UGV Control (Phase II)

Period of Performance: 02/14/2001 - 02/14/2003

$638K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cybernet Systems Corp.
3741 Plaza Drive Array
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This project is to develop a design for a wearable operator control interface for man-portable robotic applications. Typically, the controller will guide small, man-packable robots for tactical missions, such as reconnaissance in enclosed spaces like sewer tunnels. In military parlance, it is a "first man in" situation, where the robot relays video information back to the operator. The Operator Control Unit (OCU) also controls movement of the robot. Since this is a tactical situation, the OCU must allow the soldier to be free to carry out other duties without undo hindrance. It is especially important that the soldier remain free to perform battle tasks while operating the control system. The OCU will display video and other status information (direction of travel, velocity, tilt angle, etc). It will also accept control commands from the soldier and transmit the control data to the robot. In the first phase of this project, our goal was to develop a preliminary design for a wearable OCU. In Phase I, we successfully integrated Web authoring tools, LAN hardware and standard computers in order to demonstrate a prototype OCU interface. Phase II will refine this technology into an OCU that can comprehensively interact with the robot.