No bumps in the road for DARPA's robotic suspension system (w/ video)

Mar 26, 2012

The use of ground robots in military explosive-ordinance-disposal missions already saves many lives and prevents thousands of other casualties. If the current limitations on mobility and manipulation capabilities of robots can be overcome, robots could potentially assist warfighters across a greater range of missions. DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program seeks to create and demonstrate significant scientific and engineering advances in robot mobility and manipulation capabilities.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

This video shows a modified iRobot 510 PackBot equipped with an advanced system maneuvering on a test course. The compliant suspension improves the robot’s mobility over rough and uneven terrain. The technological enhancement enables faster transit speeds, climbing of very steep slopes, improved heading control, greater accommodation of debris entering the suspension and reduced impact forces on carried payloads.

M3 is a research program aimed at improving capabilities through fundamentally new approaches to the engineering of better design tools, fabrication methods and control algorithms. The program covers scientific advancement across four parallel tracks: design tools, fabrication methodologies, control methods and technology-demonstration prototypes. The prototypes demonstrated are designed to test technological advances in robotics across a range of functions, and are not necessarily intended to enter production for military use.

The M3 performer for the Advanced Suspension for Improved Mobility system is iRobot of Bedford, Mass.

Explore further: Students turn $250 wheelchair into geo-positioning robot

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

iRobot Introduces PackBot Explorer Robot

Jul 01, 2005

iRobot has introduced the iRobot PackBot Explorer, a new addition to iRobot's combat-proven line of PackBot robots. With new intelligent surveillance equipment, including three cameras, and greater flexibility to customize wit ...

iRobot planning an Android-based robot

May 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- iRobot is working on robots that have the brains of an Android tablet. The goal is an Android-based tablet that is able to see the world around it, hear input from humans, respond and think ...

Robotic technology lowers military risks

Jun 07, 2006

With suicide bombing and improvised explosive devices escalating violence in Iraq, engineers are working to advance robotic technology to counter these deadly military problems.

Recommended for you

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

14 hours ago

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Students turn $250 wheelchair into geo-positioning robot

Apr 16, 2014

Talk about your Craigslist finds! A team of student employees at The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) combined inspiration with innovation to make a $250 ...

Using robots to study evolution

Apr 14, 2014

A new paper by OIST's Neural Computation Unit has demonstrated the usefulness of robots in studying evolution. Published in PLOS ONE, Stefan Elfwing, a researcher in Professor Kenji Doya's Unit, has succes ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Net neutrality balancing act

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Bionic ankle 'emulates nature'

These days, Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, gets about 100 emails daily from people across the world interested in his bionic limbs.