MPRS (URBOT) commercialization

Donny Ciccimaro, William Baker, Ian Hamilton, Leif Heikkila, Joel Renick, Grant R. Gerhart, Charles M. Shoemaker, Douglas W. Gage
2003 Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V  
The Man Portable Robotic System (MPRS) project objective was to build and deliver hardened robotic systems to the U.S. Army's 10 Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York. The system, specifically designed for tunnel and sewer reconnaissance, was equipped with visual and audio sensors that allowed the Army engineers to detect trip wires and booby traps before personnel entered a potentially hostile environment. The MPRS system has shown to be useful in government and military supported field
more » ... cises, but the system has yet to reach the hands of civilian users. Potential users in Law Enforcement and Border Patrol have shown a strong interest in the system, but robotic costs were thought to be prohibitive for law enforcement budgets. Through the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT) program i , an attempt will be made to commercialize the MPRS. This included a detailed market analysis performed to verify the market viability of the technologies. Hence, the first step in this phase is to fully define the marketability of proposed technologies in terms of actual market size, pricing and cost factors, competitive risks and/or advantages, and other key factors used to develop marketing and business plans. URBOT PLATFORM AND HISTORY The MPRS Urban Robot (URBOT) was intended to remove the soldier from the dangerous and labor-intensive process of searching and clearing underground tunnels. The remotely operated URBOT was designed to detect hostile forces, locate and deactivate booby traps, deliver payloads, or simply stop, look, and listen, keeping the soldier safely removed from the hazards below ground. The URBOT is also an effective tool in adversative urban environments that soldiers may find themselves operating in. Designed to be fully invertible, the system can operate upside down or rightside up with no preference. Since the system was to be operated in the field by real soldiers, it had to be both waterproof and extremely rugged. The URBOT (Figures 1 and 2) is a tracked robot that can be remotely operated with a simple handheld push-button controller. Video is displayed through a five-inch active matrix LCD panel. The system is equipped with four cameras. A Sony 24X zoom, auto focus, auto iris, with electronic stabilization is used as an inspection camera. In addition, three more cameras are mounted on the platform. This includes a pair of fixed focus auxiliary "drive cameras" mounted on the top and bottom of the chassis and a rear mounted camera with an infrared illuminator. Power is supplied by four nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries with a run time of two hours. All communications, including data, video, and audio, are handled through a single wireless Ethernet link. A 500mW bi-directional amplifier with a small 3dB patch antenna is used on the OCU side of the link. A 2-watt bi-directional amplifier with a 5dB omni-direction antenna mounted to the robot chassis is used on the robot side of the link. This enables the robot to be easily controlled to 300m line-of-sight. ii *, phone: 619-553-5951; fax: 619-553-6188, Report Documentation Page Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington VA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number.
doi:10.1117/12.497427 fatcat:zpvywsfoejdbnds7ktp45ftkbu