SRI is developing new technology to reliably control thousands of micro-robots for smart manufacturing of macro-scale products in compact, integrated systems.
DARPA/CMU Crusher unmanned ground vehicle
This video depicts field testing of the DARPA Legged Squad Support System (LS3). The goal of the LS3 program is to demonstrate that a legged robot can unburden dismounted squad members by carrying their gear, autonomously following them through rugged terrain, and interpreting verbal and visual commands.
To learn more about LS3, please visit http://go.usa.gov/rwQB.
The use of ground robots in military explosive-ordinance-disposal missions already saves many lives and prevents thousands of other casualties. If the current limitations on mobility and manipulation capabilities of robots can be overcome, robots could potentially assist warfighters across a greater range of missions. DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program seeks to create and demonstrate significant scientific and engineering advances in robot mobility and manipulation capabilities.
This video shows a modified iRobot 510 PackBot equipped with an advanced suspension system maneuvering on a test course. The compliant suspension improves the robot’s mobility over rough and uneven terrain. The technological enhancement enables faster transit speeds, climbing of very steep slopes, improved heading control, greater accommodation of debris entering the suspension and reduced impact forces on carried payloads.
M3 is a research program aimed at improving robot capabilities through fundamentally new approaches to the engineering of better design tools, fabrication methods and control algorithms. The program covers scientific advancement across four parallel tracks: design tools, fabrication methodologies, control methods and technology-demonstration prototypes. The prototypes demonstrated are designed to test technological advances in robotics across a range of functions, and are not necessarily intended to enter production for military use.
The DARPA M3 performer for the Advanced Suspension for Improved Mobility system is iRobot of Bedford, Mass.
For more information on the M3 program, please visit http://go.usa.gov/E0B
A brand new movie from LS3:
Today’s dismounted warfighter can be saddled with more than 100 pounds of gear, resulting in physical strain, fatigue, and degraded performance. To help alleviate the impact of excess weight on troops, DARPA is developing a highly mobile, semi-autonomous four-legged robot, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3). LS3 includes onboard sensors to perceive obstacles in its environment and path-planning capabilities to avoid them. The LS3 platform is designed with the squad in mind and is therefore significantly quieter, faster and has a much higher carrying capacity for longer mission durations than DARPA’s earlier mobility technology demonstrator BigDog. The LS3 prototype recently completed its first outdoor assessment, demonstrating mobility by climbing and descending a hill and exercising its perception and autonomous follow-the-leader capabilities.