Case Studies

CRL’s robotic capabilities are broad and deep: perception, positioning, motion and path planning, power, computing, manipulation and mobility/platform design. Customers partner with us to apply one or more of these capabilities to solve a particular problem; to convert an existing platform into an autonomous system; or to create a custom-designed, mobile robot. 

SREHD System in use. Approved for public release.

Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection (SREHD) - Neutralization

SREHD is a program of record with Program Management Close Combat Systems (PMCCS) to create a system that will support standoff detection of buried and surface threats including mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). SREHD is a semi-autonomous mine and IED detection system that provides the ability to remotely detect, mark, and optionally neutralize buried, metallic and low metallic mines, bulk explosives, and various IED components and thus removes the soldier from the dangerous mission of searching for threats by hand.

UNCLASSIFIED. DISTRIBUTION A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited.

SREHD includes a custom-designed, five degree-of-freedom manipulator arm that swings the AN/PSS-14 Rev6 detection sensor across the width of the lane to be cleared. A CRL-supplied MultiSense S21 stereo camera creates a 3D terrain profile to safeguard the sensor and guide movement of the arm; the operator’s focus is on threat identification and situational awareness while the system manages proper AN/PSS-14 Rev6 operation.

CRL recently started low-rate initial production of systems with the goal of working with Combat Engineers to integrate these robots into route clearance missions. PMCCS is also is looking to expand the user pool to additional military MOS that are also involved in landmine and IED mitigation.

SREHD Capability Summary

  • Standoff Robotic Explosive Hazard Detection (SREHD)

    • Remote operation from tablet OCU

      • Encrypted radio operable mounted in RG31 or dismounted attached to vest

      • Touch-screen tablet OCU displays controls and threat map for precise detection

    • Robot Deployment System (RDS) compatible

      • Able to be deployed from RDS on RG31 without operator departing vehicle

        • *No explosive payload in RDS; payload’s are stored externally on RDS and can be mounted after deploying

    • AN/PSS-14 sensor for threat detection

      • Manipulator arm sweeps standard AN/PSS-14 Rev6 for detection of IEDs and Land Mines

    • Dye indicator marks ground

      • Marks cleared lane edges, targets

      • UV sensitive dye decays over time, allowing ability to distinguish previously cleared areas

      • IR night additive allows system and soldier to see marks at night

    • Explosive Payloads can be deployed on marked targets or with tele-operation

      • Multi-Array Charge (MAC) for buried threats

      • 2 C4 blocks for surface laid threats or other missions

    • IR illumination for night operations

To learn more about SREHD, check out the following links below:

Nilfisk Autonomy Kit

CRL is partnered with Nilfisk A/S to build advanced and intuitive autonomous floor cleaning robots. The Advance Liberty A50 is the first product that will result from this collaboration. The A50 is a stand-on scrubber/dryer that can be operated autonomously or manually and features two operating modes. In Copy Cat mode, the operator trains the autonomy system by cleaning a space manually.  Later, the A50 can “replay” those paths autonomously, allowing the operator to perform other cleaning activities nearby. With Fill-in mode, the operator drives the room perimeter and the A50 automatically plans a path to clean the interior of the space. With its proprietary sensor suite and software, the scrubber/dryer recognizes unknown obstacles as small as a tennis ball and then automatically maneuvers around them, making the Advance Liberty A50 safe to use in open or congested spaces. The A50 will officially launch in the spring of 2017. The Nilfisk-CRL strategic partnership will produce additional autonomous floor cleaning products in 2018 and beyond.

The A50’s autonomy is powered by CRL-designed hardware and software optimized to operate Nilfisk scrubbers. Its multiple sensing modalities support different perception functions (positioning, obstacle detection and avoidance, drop-off and people detection, etc.) and autonomous operation in different interior spaces with varying size, floor, wall types and lighting conditions. CRL applied a proven simultaneous, localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithm that underpins its industry-leading GPS-denied position estimation technology. CRL will supply and support the sensors and embedded computers that form the autonomy kit to Nilfisk. 

To learn more about the A50, check out the following links below:

Rowbot

CRL serves as the early phase technology arm for an agricultural startup, Rowbot Systems LLC. Rowbot is commercializing a concept to fertilize row crops with a fleet of small robots; the devices operating between crop rows to apply nitrogen fertilizer when the crop can most benefit. A single operator oversees the fleet and performs maintenance and routine support functions. Rowbot partnered with CRL for access to a strong technical team that was able to build a fully operational concept demonstration system in under 8 months. 

A 30 inch standard corn row spacing constrained the platform envelop and required CRL to design a 22 inch wide, mid-body steered, custom vehicle that stores the liquid nitrogen in low tanks that double as the chassis structure. Powered by a 13 hp diesel engine, the system moves at 4 mph through the corn rows applying nitrogen at the plant base. A front-mounted MultiSense SL camera provides the 3D information to guide the system autonomously through the corn rows. 

 

Strawberry Sorter

CRL provides a high-speed (greater than 36,000 plants per hour) computer-vision-based sorting product for strawberry seedlings to a California-based customer.  This system must work in real-world farming conditions, with low-skill operators, on a very wide range of plants.  CRL transitioned advanced machine-learning algorithms, licensed from Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center, to produce a smart learning system which can be trained on-the-fly to adapt to changes in field conditions, plant varieties, and yields.  CRL also developed the ruggedized, high-performance cameras, lighting, and processing hardware for commercial deployment of multiple systems, and provides support and upgrades to these systems in the field.