Intelligent Multi-modal Ground Robotic Mobility

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-09-C-0155
Agency Tracking Number: A082-160-1135
Amount: $119,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A08-160
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
VECNA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
5004 Lehigh Avenue, College Park, MD, 20740
DUNS: 094078958
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andreas Hofmann
 Director of Machine Learning
 (617) 864-0636
 ahofmann@vecna.com
Business Contact
 Michael Bearman
Title: General Counsel, VP
Phone: (240) 737-1650
Email: mbearman@vecna.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The Army has a critical need for high performance robotic mobility platforms that can quickly and efficiently traverse challenging terrain, particularly those that would be encountered in a wartime urban environment. In order to accomplish these tasks, such robotic vehicles must have continuous contact and discrete contact locomotion modalities (e.g., tracks and legs) and must have the intelligence to automatically select and operate in the mode most suitable and efficient for the current situation. The proposed ultra-mobile unmanned vehicle platform features an automatically adaptable locomotion articulation. Key innovations include a novel hybrid/tracked mobility platform design with sufficient degrees of freedom and range of motion to allow for a great variety of interesting locomotion modes, a novel rotary hydraulic actuator with high strength, high range of motion, high speed, and adjustable compliance. An advanced control system supports highly energy efficient operation, thus increasing mission time between recharge/refueling. An advanced navigation system analyzes the local terrain in the vicinity of the robot, automatically plans locomotion trajectories in terms of center of mass, foot placements, and track movement, and then executes this plan. This mobility platform will provide a significant mobility improvement over wheeled systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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