Keywords: robotics, legs, ugv, unmanned, dismounted
Summary:RMD has developed an approach to large scale legged vehicles that increases the amount of payload able to be carried, while increasing the reliability of the system, and reducing the maintenance costs. A network of sensors on the robot provide real time feedback and enable the robot to achieve a synthetic form of proprioception (body awareness). This allows the vehicle to operate in a variety of terrain conditions without pre-loaded terrain maps or reliance on vision systems that can become fouled or obscured by debris or environmental conditions. This is in contrast to current state of the art mobile robots that rely on careful pre-planned motion paths to navigate unstructured terrain. RMD's vehicles leverage an onboard network of sensors to sense the terrain in real time and allow the vehicle to make judgements on how to navigate without reliance on exteroceptive sensors that may become obscured or fouled. This capability has the potential to enable new capabilities in mobile robots not see previously. Applications where the terrain is not known beforehand include sub-sea exploration, space, disaster zones and contested military battlefields.