Multi-Mode Mobility for Micro-Platforms

Period of Performance: 04/20/2004 - 10/20/2004

$99.6K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Architecture Technology Corp.
9971 Valley View Road Array
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Recent military efforts have illustrated the difficulty for conventional weapons to find and defeat "hard-targets" that are concealed, guarded, mobile, or even buried. Examples include underground hardened bunkers, cave/tunnel systems, and mobile SCUD launchers. Robotic micro-platforms could be used to find, collect data, track, and even defeat such targets, but the robots need to be nimble, agile, well coordinated, and possess an intelligence for achieving its mission. Missions would require the micro-platforms to be able to land in the area, move around and over the terrain/objects/debris, and then leave the area (preferably on their own ability). To solve this problem, a distributed robotics, micro-platform concept (hardware platforms, sensors, software architecture) is proposed that allows a swarm of heterogeneous robots to be sent into a search area, and perform hard-target reconnaissance missions. This proposed effort focuses on the hardware component, and specifically on the multi-mode mobility scheme for such a robotic platform. In Phase I, we will use our team experience in unmanned vehicles and robotics to investigate various ground and air mobility mechanisms, and their combinations. A multi-mode mobility suitable for the hard-target domain will be identified, and further analyzed. Initial designs for a Phase II prototype will be created.