Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Swarm Robotic Sensing Platform for Search and Rescue

HSHQDC-12-C-00029 DHS SBIR-2012.1-H-SB012.1-006-0006-I
(DHS SBIR-2012.1 Phase I)
Swarm Robotic Sensing Platform for Search and Rescue

Robotic Research, LLC
555 Quince Orchard Road
Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878-1426


Teleoperation is the most commonly used method for controlling Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGV) into areas that are too dangerous or constrained for humans or canines to explore. These SUGVs provide cameras and sensors that provide situational awareness to the operators. However, as the number of SUGVs increases, so do the constraints and operational requirements that they impose on the mission. In particular, as the number of tele-operated SUGVs increases, the communication constraints, weight burden, platform costs, availability of trained operators and coordination issues increase accordingly. Moreover, fusing the information collected by these assets becomes a daunting task where few tools are available. The purpose of our proposed research is to develop and demonstrate autonomous mobility, multi-robot coordination, fused situational awareness, and reduced operator workload on low-cost platforms. To achieve this goal, we will leverage the autonomous capabilities that we have already developed and demonstrated under previous programs. To reduce costs, sensors will have to be changed as the cost of the autonomous and mobility kit is largely driven by sensor costs. The algorithms for sensing and navigation will be improved to compensate for the proposed sensors that are less costly, but have lower performance. In other words, the software will have to be smarter to overcome a less expensive hardware. If awarded a Phase II SBIR, Robotic Research proposes a Single robot demonstration with low-cost sensor suite at the DHS sponsored NIST Nike site.