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ICG Risk Blog - [ 3rdGen COTS robot teams for collaborative sensing, exploration, mapping, and independent team coordination ]

3rdGen COTS robot teams for collaborative sensing, exploration, mapping, and independent team coordination

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More commercial off the shelf (COTS) wonders. While each technology contributes something to the collective Scout team, I find the software architecture able to render effective teamwork among inanimate objects to be the most intriguing.

The team leader is named MegaScout, "a 15-inch-long sibling of the smaller Scout which can carry larger sensors, a manipulator arm (for opening doors, lifting Scouts and similar tasks) and the processing power to control the Scout team in the field."

The lesser Scouts "incorporate a video camera, three infrared range finders, two light sensors and a pyroelectric sensor (for sensing body heat)plus a two-way remote-control system that supports frequency hopping and signal encryption" and do it in about the size of "cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper."

They are designed to work as a team using a combination of sensing devices under instruction from the MegaScout who communicates back to a human operator.

It's only a matter of time before anti-handling devices are installed and then on to offensive roles far from disaster recovery.

While a sophisticated teaming version may not be fielded by terrorists, you can expect smaller solitary versions.

It is worth visiting the site to see how small these items are.

Turning Robots into a Well-Oiled Machine
Robot teams to help emergency responders in the trenches
NSF PR 04-046 - April 12, 2004

Gordon Housworth



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