RIM Seminar: Jim Overholt

Add to Calendar
April 25, 2012 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
TSRB Banquet Hall

Army ground robotics has been a strategic research and development focus for well over 20 years. In the past 10 years, over 8,000 robotic systems (at its peak in 2010) have been fielded in Southwest Asia.  This figure is impressive, especially when you consider that in 2004 it required 5 separate vendors to provide 162 robots for only a few select missions.   Currently, these systems are used for a variety of critical combat activities but mobile robots are rarely (if ever) used state-side for CONUS operations.  In addition, as much as robots have contributed to the Warfighters success in various scenarios (most notably in EOD activities in Iraq and Afghanistan), the primary mode of operation of our current robot fleet is still either Remote Control or Tele-Operation.  This is in stark contrast to the intelligent navigation capabilities being shown at our leading universities and other robot OEMs.  So where is the disconnect?

This talk will focus on addressing this very question from various points of view; including new efforts to heavily leverage commercial automotive S&T to facilitate robotics on military bases and installations, and to segment the potential robotics mission work-space into 2 simple classifications of environmental features and human intent of the indigenous population.  This will lead to some interesting findings in the minimum barriers of technology entry and whether or not advanced autonomy is really needed at all.