Ireland-based robotics specialist Reamda has been contracted to modify its unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) controller to support a variety of platforms.
The contract falls under an award to US company JGW International by the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (DHS S&T) Directorate.
Under the USD422,330 deal Reamda will deliver a single control station that is capable of operating four different explosive ordnance disposal UGVs before the end of August 2017.
The controller is already used with Reamda's own platforms, such as Reacher and Digital Hobo, as well as being modified for Doking's MV-4 and Northrop Grumman's Wheelbarrow Mk 9. It is a simple design with one joystick for the drive functions, one to control the cameras, and six switches to control aspects of the robotic arm.
Reamda managing director and chief technical officer, Padraig O'Connor, told IHS Jane's on 23 August that the company should know "the robots the controller is to operate with before the end of September".
"The controller will be similar to the one we already provide but we may have to modify the switch panel, which is platform specific, to a more generic design," O'Connor said.
"Most platforms have common parts such as turrets and claws and such [which need to be controlled] and we want to keep it as generic as possible without having to switch panels out."
The company is considering communications units but it is likely that it will use the Domo Tactical Communications Solo radio, which is widely used across a range of UGVs.
The controller is designed for operation by a variety of user groups and the need for such a system was identified by the (DHS S&T) First Responders Group. It is designed to reduce training requirements, operating costs, and operator load as well as reducing the amount of equipment needed to be maintained and transported to an incident scene.
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