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.


 
 

 

Headlines May 6, 2015

News: President nominates Gen. Joseph F. Dunford as Joint Chiefs chairman - President Obama nominated Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford May 5 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling the commander of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan “a proven leader.”   Business: U.S. Air Force says may revisit rocket plan if firms do...
 
 

News Briefs May 6, 2015

NATO to briefly move command headquarters A top NATO commander says the alliance will briefly move an allied joint force command headquarters to Romania as NATO continues to hone its ability to react to Russia’s moves in Ukraine and other security challenges. U.S Navy Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III, commander of the Allied Joint Force...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Australia accepts new Boeing CH-47F Chinook aircraft

Boeing photograph Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015. At a May 5 ceremony at Royal Australian...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

RQ-4 Global Hawk achieves milestone C

Northrop Grumman photograph A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk on a runway in Palmdale, Calif. The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude, long endurance autonomous unmanned aircraft system successfully completed Mileston...
 
 
Army photograph by Maj. Daniel Markert

‘Futurist’ predicts Far East challenges for expeditionary Army

Army photograph by Maj. Daniel Markert Soldiers will face anti-satellite operations and electronic warfare in the future, predicted Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments,...
 
 

Boeing upgrading Australian F/A-18 trainers to aid maintenance effectiveness

Boeing will update two maintenance trainers for the Royal Australian Air Force so they better support the RAAFís F/A-18F and EA-18G aircraft. Australia is the only nation other than the United States flying F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters and EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft. While it operates the two-seat F variant of the Super Hornet,...
 




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>