At the Robotics Rodeo held at Fort Benning in October in the state of Georgia, AMREL demonstrated an important breakthrough for unmanned ground vehicles or UGVs. This was done by using the same payload controller to operate two different UGVs.
The Senior Robotics Architect for AMREL, Micheal Castilo said that integrated into the payload controller were sensor packages that can also operate as independent handheld devices.
Both industry and military observers at the Robotics Rodeo were impressed at how easily the payload controller prototype transferred. The operator using the payload controller prototype moved from controlling the Segway RMP 50 to the Segway RMP 400.
David Rowe and David Bruemmer from 5D Robotics said that the kit becomes no longer just a robot payload, but a stand-alone intelligent node that can be used as an unattended ground sensor, that can be hand held by a soldier, and that can snap onto and control multiple robots.
The Department of Defence has long sought such interoperability and AMREL's payload controller is the first prototype to demonstrate this so effectively.