RE2 Robotics said yesterday it won a contract with the US Navy to develop an Autonomous Robotic Cargo Handling system through the Dept. of Defense’s small business innovation research program, earning $125,000 for the 1st phase of the contract.
Currently, no autonomous loading or unloading systems exist and cargo missions require manual unloading and loading from air vehicles. The Pittsburgh, Penn.-based company said its ARCH system will be demonstrated in conjunction with an Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System equipped UH-1H optionally piloted aircraft designed to autonomously deliver supplies.
“Manual handling of cargo increases time the aircraft is on the ground in the landing zone and increases exposure of personnel to dangerous situations. Autonomous load and unload capability would greatly reduce burden on Marine Corps troops who typically move cargo out of the supplying aircraft. RE2 is dedicated to developing robotic technologies that keep military personnel safe in unsecured and hostile environments. Creating an autonomous cargo handling system will provide a secure and efficient solution to the manual cargo handling problem,” prez & CEO Jorgen Pedersen said in a press release.
During the 1st SBIR phase RE2 aims to develop and define a concept for the system with a focus on modularity and interoperability. The system is designed to use robotic manipulation and modular systems to create the initial design.