RE2 Robotics has won a $2.9 million Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to develop a drop-in robotic kit to help the Air Force use existing construction ground vehicles as robotic vehicles during cleanup efforts after an airfield strike.
“By creating the capability to easily turn construction vehicles into robotic systems without losing the integrity of the original man-drive vehicle, personnel conducting the dangerous mission of airfield damage recovery will soon have the ability to perform their jobs at a safe distance, when necessary,” said president and CEO of RE2 Robotics Jorgen Pedersen.
Currently, most robotic kits need intrusive fitting into electronic systems within a vehicle, thus needing long installation times and limiting future manned operation of the equipment. So RE2 is developing a new drop-in system that can provide real-time switching between manned and remotely manned operation of large construction vehicles found within the civil engineering toolbox, such as wheeled loaders and telehandlers. The objective is to develop a viable in-cab telepresence setup that will rapidly adapt to a variety of operation requirements depending upon the type of vehicle.
The program is called Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery-Teleoperated (RADR-T) and is RE2’s second program with the Air Force to develop a drop-in robotic system to enhance the capabilities of existing military-owned vehicles.
“The RADR-T program uses the team’s expertise in developing manipulation systems for existing military assets and establishes the company as a leading provider of drop-in robotic kits,” said Pedersen.
RE2 Robotics is also designing an aircraft retrofit kit that leverages existing aviation assets and advances in vehicle automation technologies to develop a cutting-edge, drop-in robotic flight system. For more information, visit www.resquared.com.