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Pratt & Miller Engineering debuts Light Flexible Robotic Platform

06 May 2019
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Pratt & Miller Engineering is expanding the mission set for its Light Flexible Robotic Platform, which was originally developed to support marksmanship training. Source: Pratt & Miller Engineering

Pratt & Miller Engineering (PME) has developed a family of three unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) comprising the Light, Heavy, and Extreme Flexible Robotic Platforms.

The company displayed the Light Flexible Robotic Platform for the first time in public at the 2019 Xponential exhibition held in Chicago from 30 April to 2 May.

The system was originally equipped with heavy armour protection for its role as a robotic infantry target used in marksmanship training.

However, the platform's payload capacity has increased significantly by removing the armour package, enabling it to be reroled for other unmanned robotic applications.

"We designed all of these platforms from the ground up, with the light and heavy versions being initially designed to meet a rigorous set of requirements for live-fire marksmanship training under an SBIR [Small Business Innovation Research] programme with the US Army PEO STRI [Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation]," Jim Fontaine, product director of Ground Robotics, told Jane's.

"Working off of those highly mobile and agile platforms, PME is now offering variants to address other markets and applications," Fontaine added, noting that these could include agriculture, manufacturing and warehouse logistics, security, delivery, and defence. "When considering the significant payload capacities and the open architecture control systems, our platforms can interface with a huge range of smart payloads from advanced sensing to weaponisation or can simply transport heavy cargo along a preplanned path."

The baseline 317 kg platform measures 1.4 m long, 1.2 m wide, and 61 cm tall; and can be modified to meet specific requirements. It can carry a payload of up to 272 kg while travelling at speeds of up to 19 km/h.

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