The HLA Telepresent Control System

Period of Performance: 12/18/1998 - 06/18/1999

$120K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lionhearth Technologies, Inc.
25401 Spanish Ranch Rd.
Los Gatos, CA 95033
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Virtual collaboration has transitioned from a laboratory exercise into an accepted new means of communication. TARDEC is interested in exploring technologies that allow crew members to control various ground vehicle functions from a remote location. To facilitate these remote-driving functions, realistic imagery must be supplied to the driver. Lionhearth Technologies' proposed effort is to design and implement a system that improves existing hardware and software to enable real-time remote piloting of robotic vehicles. The system would be capable of running existing military applications, and enabling collaborative planning and multi-spectral visualization. Lionhearth proposes to design (Phase I) and build (Phase II) a remotely piloted ATV robotic test vehicle comprised of three sub-modules: 1. A vehicle mounted Sensor-Servo Module (SSM), with a GPS receiver and gimbal-mounted Stereo Vision Module (SVM) for fused infrared electro-optical telepresence. 2. A wireless communications link and MPEG-4 based video compression module for dispersed collaboration and simulation via High Level Architecture (HLA). 3. A virtualized Vehicle Control Center (VCC) that provides telepresent visualization of the ATV's operation through the use of a high-resolution, stereo head-mounted display, (HMD) novel, un-tethered head tracking system, standard, electronic game controller with haptic-feedback, and remote collaboration and visualization software. BENEFITS: A complete system could provide remote drivers of ground vehicles with visual information about their surroundings--particularly their travel. Such a system could significantly improve soldier survivability, accelerate battlefield deployment, reduce driver error and accidents, enhance reconnaissance, and reduce exposure to danger in hazardous environments. Examples of such a product include toxic waste clean-up, forest fire fighting and law enforcement tactical operations.