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Motive and Affect-based Robotic Control (MARC)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
CHI Systems Inc
PA Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1047
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Motive and Affect-based Robotic Control (MARC)
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: N00014-08-C-0736
Award Amount: $742,044.00


This project addresses two core challenges to wider and more effective use of robotic and uninhabited vehicles (UxVs), the need for more robust and understandable autonomy, and for simplified, intuitive, and more learnable human control mechanisms. The Phase I effort created an advanced control mechanism and interface for UxVs based on PAC, an innovative cognitive model of personality and emotion. The resulting PAC-based design is named MARC -- Motive and Affect-based Robotic Control. MARC is intended to translate between 'ordinary personality and emotion language' - the kind the human UxV controller might use in communicating with other people -- and underlying computational structures that control the UxV. Phase I used the biologically inspired PAC software to build a proof-of-concept MARC prototype that controlled multiple simulated UxVs. A human-in-the-loop experiment compared the MARC prototype with a more conventional UxV control mechanism, and found that MARC led to significantly fewer errors, lower workload, and higher mission accomplishment in comparison to the conventional control paradigm. The goal of the Phase II effort (base and option) is to bring MARC to TRL 6 through complete component development and demonstration of an integrated MARC in a relevant operational environment.

Principal Investigator:

Wayne Zachary
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Phillip Rollhauser
Director of Contracts
Small Business Information at Submission:

1035 Virginia Drive Suite 300 Fort Washington, PA 19034

EIN/Tax ID: 232387734
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No