Defense

November 9, 2012

Army researchers link ground robots wirelessly

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, or RSS.

“We are working on fundamental techniques that employ autonomous agents to maintain connectivity, and continuously provide situational awareness to soldiers,” said Brian Sadler, Ph.D., of Army Research Laboratory’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 Army Research Laboratory’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.

Jeffrey Twigg, with the 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, Sept. 18, 2012, at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md.

“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, Jonathan Fink, Ph.D., Paul Yu, Ph.D., and Brian Sadler, Ph.D., 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 urban operations training 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 Army Research Laboratory 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.


 
 

 
Untitled-2

Tactical reconnaissance vehicle project eyes hoverbike for defense

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle, or TRV, concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground thre...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton

Upgraded AWACS platform tested at Northern Edge

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton Maintenance crew members prepare an E-3G Sentry (AWACS) for takeoff during exercise Northern Edge June 25, 2015. Roughly 6,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First Marine graduates Air Force’s F-35 intelligence course

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, an F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, provides a mock intelligence briefing to two instructors during the F-35 Intelligence Formal Train...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. James Richardson

5,000 days of war

Air Force photograph by SrA. James Richardson Airmen from the 17th Special Tactics Squadron out of Fort Benning, Ga., control airspace operations during exercise Jaded Thunder Oct. 29, 2014, in Salina, Kansas. Joint special ope...
 
 
Huntington Ingalls photograph

Navy’s new aircraft launch system tested on future carrier CVN 78

Huntington Ingalls photograph Aboard the aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the late President Ford for whom the ship is named, rejoices i...
 
 
Navy photograph by JO2 John Hetherington

Prowler retires following 45 years of naval service

Navy photograph by PO3 Brian Stephens An EA-6B Prowler assigned to the Garudas of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is supporti...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>