NCMS Project #: 140468
Problem: The Department of Defense (DoD) has been using many commercial and non-developmental small robotic systems for engineering missions. The primary complaint expressed by the warfighter is that the system weight must be reduced. Further, no standard for component interoperability has been followed by industry to this point.
The Marines require the capability to quickly adapt to the mission needs with a single man portable robot chassis. In addition, the spectrum management constraints across various countries and the ever changing jamming environment in theater present a continuous challenge for robotic radios to stay compliant and operational in peacetime training as well as diverse wartime scenarios.
Benefit: This demonstration, by using the RS JPO IOP as a baseline will help the robotics industry progress toward true plug-and-play small robot components thus opening the field for component development.
Interchangeable, interoperable components based on standards will encourage supplier competition, which will in turn increase the number of suppliers for any given component and inevitably result in lower costs and faster delivery. Component interoperability also enables rapid reconfigurability. Reconfigurability reduces logistics footprint because field application is no longer limited to factory packaged, single purpose systems but can instead be planned around core systems plus sets of components that configure the end product for a specific application.
Solution/Approach: Over the last two years, the Robotic Systems Joint Program Office (RS JPO) has led an effort in concert with private industry to define interoperability standards for robotic systems in an Interoperability Profile (IOP).
The scope of this project shall be primarily focused on collaboratively building a functional robot with interoperable, modular components. The robot will communicate with an OCU running the Multi-Robot Operator Control Unit (MOCU) software and an IOP V0 compliant software interface (capable of sending SAE-AS-4 JAUS messages to the platform) while maintaining a robot weight of 20 lbs.
Impact on Warfighter:
- Lighter man-packable robots (<20 lb.)
- Interoperable components enable field mission configuration.
- Operator interface commonality across platforms reduces training requirements.
- U.S. Army (Robot Systems Joint Program Office)