Improving Maintenance of Intelligent Robotic Systems Through Modular Designs

NCMS Project #: 142114

Problem: Today, industrial robotic systems work in a wide range of industries doing many different tasks that are repetitive and dangerous for people to perform.  Unfortunately, most robotic systems have been designed to perform a specific task in a specific environment, and replacement parts are not interchangeable.  This makes it difficult for maintainers and parts suppliers to efficiently keep robots operational over their lifespan.

Benefit: Regardless of the industry, designing and developing modular robotics systems and components that are more reliable, easier to repair, and cheaper to maintain and upgrade will continue to be the preferred approach for consumers and commercial users. By employing new design approaches using modular open systems architectures, the interchange of key mission equipment components, payloads, and sensors will be possible allowing for robots to be quickly reconfigured and able to execute new tasks and missions.

Solution/Approach: The intent of this initiative is to leverage advanced analytical tools to evaluate and assess modular open system architectures and designs to determine the best approach for a new robust, intelligent, mobile, quadruped robotic system.  Using the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Ghost Q-UGV Vision 60 mobility platform as a surrogate, this initiative will leverage advanced commercial tools and processes to deliver new design approaches using the existing navigation, control, and sensor subsystems of the baseline platform.  This new approach will allow the definition of a robust system performance envelope based upon payload and mission requirements and demonstrate how the baseline can be easily and quickly upgraded and reconfigured with new modular components and subsystems to meet new and unpredictable tasks.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increase operational efficiencies 
  • Reconfigurable to execute new tasks and missions 
  • Decrease maintenance time to reconfigure or retool 
  • Improve safety and reduce health risks of exposure to high temperatures, toxic chemicals, radiation, infectious disease or other human safety hazards or dangers 
  • Strengthen warfighter flexibility and lethality 

DOD Participation:

  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) 
  • U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Armaments Center 

Industry Participation:

  • CLogic Defense
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)

Final Report