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Monocular Unmanned Leader-Follower (MULE-F) System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street Cambridge, MA 02138-4555
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Monocular Unmanned Leader-Follower (MULE-F) System
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W56HZV-12-C-0049
Award Amount: $738,300.00


The Army has a clear need for an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) capable of autonomously accompanying a single soldier or vehicle. Such a UGV would help solve both logistical problems of soldiers needing to transport more equipment and supplies than they can carry in a backpack, and tactical problems of scouting unsafe areas. Multiple designs for such UGVs exist; however, they require active remote control or teleoperation, even for mundane tasks such as long-distance travel. Teleoperation is undesirable for these types of situations, as it requires"heads down"attention from the soldier, which reduces situational awareness and causes fatigue. We propose a Monocular Unmanned Leader-Follower (MULE-F) system for the autonomous tracking and following of a designated soldier or vehicle. The proposed system enables a UGV to autonomously follow a soldier or vehicle at operational following distances and speeds, using a single lightweight UGV-mounted video camera and requiring no modifications to the leader"s equipment. The system is specifically designed to operate in the presence of multiple visually-similar soldiers or vehicles by integrating the designated leader"s tracked kinematics with a learned appearance model, and may be controlled at a distance using intuitive arm/hand gestures.

Principal Investigator:

Camille Monnier
Camille Monnier
(617) 491-3474

Business Contact:

Mark S. Felix
Contracts Manager
(617) 491-3474
Small Business Information at Submission:

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street Cambridge, MA -

EIN/Tax ID: 042803764
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Boston University
Office of Sponsored Programs
25 Buick Street
Boston, MA 02215-
Contact: John F. Imbergamo
Contact Phone: (617) 353-4365