Tech

October 31, 2012

Army researchers link ground robots for collaborative autonomy

Jason Gregory and Jeffrey Twigg, both of U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, use their robotics expertise to explore ways to best operate autonomous systems in complex and unstructured situations like those soldiers encounter on the battlefield.

Four U.S. Army Research Laboratory researchers have developed an algorithm that will make it easier for the Department of Defense to maintain wirelessly networked Army PackBots and other military assets using radio communications.

The team recently demonstrated they could map the region of good connectivity to a radio base station using received signal strength.

Jeffrey Twigg of U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Computational and Information Sciences Directorate tests an Army PackBot’s connectivity to a radio base station using signal strength on Sept. 18 at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md.

“We are working on fundamental techniques that employ autonomous agents to maintain connectivity, and continuously provide situational awareness to Soldiers,” said Dr. Brian Sadler of ARL’s Computational and Information Sciences Directorate in a recent article about the research.

The team has been focused on radio connectivity between robots for nearly two years, he said.

“We can find and explore areas that have high RSS and then map these areas as having the strongest connectivity to the radio base station,” said Jeffrey Twigg, a contract employee with ARL’s Computational and Information Sciences Directorate who was instrumental in this research. “This brings us a step closer to operating autonomous systems in complex and unstructured situations like those soldiers encounter on the battlefield.”

When the environment is open, communication between autonomous robots is well understood. Indoors however, walls and other sources of interference cause radio propagation to be more complex. This requires the communication strategies used by robotic systems to be more complex, Twigg said.

“Ultimately we want to form building blocks that increase the effectiveness of a networked team of robots in an unknown environment,” Twigg said. “If robots can be programmed to map where there is the potential to communicate inside a building, then Soldiers and other assets can know where in the building they will be able to communicate with a radio base station.”

Efficient Base Station Connectivity Region Discovery by Jeffrey Twigg, Dr. Jonathan Fink, Dr. Paul Yu and Dr. Brian Sadler is a project that takes a second step toward a broad understanding of solutions for Army robotics. The study has been submitted for publication by the International Journal of Robotics Research.

The researchers took their findings from earlier research conducted this year to the next level. They combined region decomposition and RSS sampling to form an efficient graph search. The nominal RSS in a sampling region is obtained by averaging local RSS samples to reduce the small scale fading variation.

At this point, the system has been tested in the lab as well as at the MOUT site at Fort Indiantown Gap.

The algorithm can be used for sensing and collaborative autonomy within the region of base station connectivity, Twigg said.
The ARL researchers first presented the development: RSS Gradient-Assisted Frontier Exploration and Radio Source Localization at the 2012 International Conference on Robotics and Automation in St. Paul, Minn.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>