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Advanced Platforms

Ranger

 

Objectives

  • Develop a small UUV platform for a wide range of military and commercial applications.
  • Support technology development related to mine warfare, expeditionary warfare, homeland defense, underwater surveillance, harbor defense, ocean research, search and survey.
  • Enable one person to transport and handle the robot in operational settings.
  • Launch and recover from a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), another small craft, a ship or the shore.
  • Accommodate third-party sensors without extensive Non-Recurring Engineering costs.
  • Protect personnel.

Ranger, an A-sized UUV platform that weights less than 20 kilograms, supports technology development for a variety of military and commercial applications.

Transphibian

 

Objectives

  • Develop an underwater robotic platform that is both a UUV and a bottom crawler.
  • Support a wide variety of defense, public safety and commercial applications, including mine detection and harbor defense.
  • Clear mines in surge-dominated waters in and near the surf zone.
  • Perform maritime surveillance and reconnaissance in complex shallow environments.
  • Enable autonomous insertion into the water.
  • Use a combination of fins and ballast tanks to enable the robot to swim and crawl.
  • Navigate with 6 degrees of freedom – even in surge – to avoid obstacles and maneuver in tight spaces and very shallow water.
  • Make the robot difficult to detect while submerged.
  • Develop a modular open architecture that accommodates a wide array of sensors and payloads, including a high-definition underwater camera.
  • Keep personnel at a safe standoff distance.

A UUV and bottom crawler, Transphibian uses fins and ballast tanks to swim and crawl in complex underwater environments.

Advanced Inflatable Robots (AIR)

 

Objectives

  • Develop dynamic inflatable structures for robot manipulation and mobility.
  • Achieve variable compliance of structural elements, in addition to joints.
  • Enable safe interaction with humans and delicate objects while allowing for heavy lifting capacity.
  • Dramatically reduce fabrication costs through the use of fabrics and textile manufacturing techniques.
  • Ensure the technology is extremely scalable.
  • Maintain high packing density and low weight for easy portability and simplified logistics.
Prototypes of Advanced Inflatable Robots include inflatable arms and grippers for manipulation.
iRobot Research AIR

Millibots

 

Objectives

  • Enable the mass manufacturing of dynamic millirobots.
  • Focus on laminated manufacturing methods.
  • Include rigid-flex based conductive flexures and laminated actuation and sensing.
  • Implement accelerometer embedded rigid-flex hips and legs.
  • Investigate automated assembly and folding.

The goal of the Millibots project is to mass produce rigid-flex millirobots using lamination-based manufacturing with automated assembly and folding.
iRobot Research Millibots