Pushing Robots Toward Autonomy
U.S. Army researchers have enhanced the Talon robot with an array of technologies to make the system more autonomous. Upgrades include inertial navigation and Global Positioning System technologies, a 306-degree camera system and laser radar, upgraded power distribution boards, an e-stop system, Ethernet radios, control computers and software for running the system. The combination of enhancements allow improved obstacle detection and 3-dimensional mapping. The effort is part of a push by the Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance, which is led by the Army Research Laboratory, to upgrade the current fleet of Talon and Packbot systems so that they are better able to act independently rather than be controlled by a soldier with a joystick or other device. The team includes military, industry and academia and is combining resources for the research.