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Multi-Mode Mobility for Micro-Platforms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-04-C-0250
Agency Tracking Number: F041-177-1126
Amount: $99,572.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-177
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Solicitation Year: 2004
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2004-04-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2004-10-20
Small Business Information
9971 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
United States
DUNS: 052062833
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Budenske
 Staff Scientist
 (952) 829-5864
Business Contact
 Kenneth Thruber
Title: President
Phone: (952) 829-5864
Research Institution

Recent military efforts have illustrated the difficulty for conventional weapons to find and defeat "hard-targets" that are concealed, guarded, mobile, or even buried. Examples include underground hardened bunkers, cave/tunnel systems, and mobile SCUD launchers. Robotic micro-platforms could be used to find, collect data, track, and even defeat such targets, but the robots need to be nimble, agile, well coordinated, and possess an intelligence for achieving its mission. Missions would require the micro-platforms to be able to land in the area, move around and over the terrain/objects/debris, and then leave the area (preferably on their own ability). To solve this problem, a distributed robotics, micro-platform concept (hardware platforms, sensors, software architecture) is proposed that allows a swarm of heterogeneous robots to be sent into a search area, and perform hard-target reconnaissance missions. This proposed effort focuses on the hardware component, and specifically on the multi-mode mobility scheme for such a robotic platform. In Phase I, we will use our team experience in unmanned vehicles and robotics to investigate various ground and air mobility mechanisms, and their combinations. A multi-mode mobility suitable for the hard-target domain will be identified, and further analyzed. Initial designs for a Phase II prototype will be created.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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