The Army is transforming its fleet of transportable robots to a common set of standards to expedite modernization, interoperability, autonomy and mission flexibility.
During the last decade and a half of ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army acquired and fast-tracked as many as 7,000 unique robotic systems in an effort to keep pace with the emerging threat of enemy IEDs.
Building upon these developments, which included the deployment of multiple transportable cave- and road-clearing robots, the service now seeks to architect design a common fleet with a single robotic chassis configurable to a wide range of varying missions, said Bryan McVeigh, the Army's project manager for Force Projection.
“Previous robots often had just one capability, used expensive, proprietary software, and required more resources for training and maintenance. That means soldiers can do more while learning and carrying less, and that makes a big difference," he added.
To facilitate this effort, the Army is turning to Endeavor Robotics (formerly called iRobot), to acquire common robots called Man-Transportable Robotic Systems, Increment II (MTRS Inc II). Prior to becoming Endeavor Robotics, iRobot developed and fielded a wide range of portable soldier robots which have been used extensively in combat.
For more information on the MTRS Inc II program, see http://www.peocscss.army.mil/pdmugv.html, and http://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/cs-css-man-transportable-robot-system-mtrs-increment-2/
For more information on Endeavour Robotics products, see http://endeavorrobotics.com/products.