Military transportation robot Part 2: Who drives? Who's the best gamer?

10/24/2010


Unmodified Autonomous R-Gator - Source: John DeereMTRMS: A new class of robot is joining the troops on the front lines, it is known as Military Transportation Robot, Medium Size (MTRMS ). Robots smaller have been in use for several years, larger ones are in the planning stage which is what makes the R-Gator a Medium size military robot. Who gets to drive when it's not in full autonomous mode? Who's the best gamer? (See below.)

The picture above is what the stock R-Gator, fresh off the Charlotte, North Carolina assembly line, looks like.  It can drive itself autonomously.

THE R-GATOR IN THE BROCHURE, $350K

The stock R-Gator, built to the specifications in the brochure [see here:

http://www.deere.com/en_US/contractsales/fedmilitarysales/cce/r_gator/r_gator.html], costs government agencies $350,000 and is considered a COTS vehicle.  If you would like to see it in action, your best bet is to travel to one of the conventions, trade shows, or field events where R-Gator is being demonstrated.  Contact Mark E. Bodwell at (919) 804-2251.

BodwellMarkE@JohnDeere.com for the schedule of upcoming R-Gator demonstrations.

The published R-Gator speed is 35 mph, in Manual Mode.  In Full-Auto Mode, the R-Gator is limited to 5 mph.  For comparison John Deere agricultural tractors are limited to 18 mph in Full-Auto and the Google Autonomous Car [See

http://news.yahoo.com/video/tech-15749651/test-driving-the-google-car-22403930 ], travels at normal highway speed, 70 mph, in Full-Auto Mode.

SENSORS AND SERVOS

Speed, direction of travel, and position within 4 inches are determined by NavCom GPS, inertial navigation, and precision odometry.  Positive and negative obstacles such as holes and cliffs are avoided by using two forward, one rear looking SICK laser range sensors.  The SICK lasers produce a planar laser fan that can “broom” the area ahead of the vehicle as it moves.

The electric rack and pinion power steering used on the R-Gator is from John Deere’s golf course greens mower.  The engine is a 25 hp diesel; liquid-cooled, running on JP-8 fuel, connected to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), much like on a golf cart or snow mobile.  The 5 gallon tank gives the vehicle a 300 mile range which implies a fuel efficiency of 56 miles per gallon, not bad for a four wheel drive vehicle.

Using what customers already know makes big difference in training time.

Marks job is to build business relationships with the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who use John Deere military products every day.  Their comments and suggestions guide John Deere in developing improved military ground vehicles.  To do this Mark travels extensively putting on demonstrations and leading training exercises with his JP-8 fueled diesel R-Gator.  JP-8 is the universal fuel used for everything the US Army owns, trucks, tanks, helicopters, generators, and now R-Gators.

In the telephone interview, Mark Bodwell explained: “Training with the early ‘Engineer Interface’ overloaded the 17 to 20 year olds learning to operate the R-Gator and took 3 weeks to accomplish the training.  When leading the training at Ft. Benning I noticed that in their off time the soldiers were experts at playing Halo and America’s Army using the X-Box controller.  When we adopted the X-Box controller for tele-operation of the R-Gator it changed the character of the training from intensive study to play.  Now for training all I do is ask the squad ‘Who is your best gamer?’ they point and I toss the controller to that person.  In 30 minutes or less they have the R-Gator up and running.”

I will be tracking down the details of the electric power steering system in R-Gator Part 3. Read Part 1 and see more photos:

John Deere’s Robot Gator – Part 1 - revolutionary change

Pass along the link to other interested in roving robots:

http://www.controleng.com/blogs/aiming-for-automated-vehicles/blog/john-deeres-robot-gator-part-1-revolutionary-change/d864d4cade.html

GO ROBOTS !

Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer, AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC, LLC

"Small engine and machinery repair"

TC TINKERS 4-H ROBOT CLUB "Science, Engineering, and Technology"

390 4-Mile Rd. S., Traverse City, MI 49685

(231) 883-4463 Cell

pgrayson@aimagic.org

AIM: http://aimagic.org

TC Tinkers 4-H Robot Club:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TC_TINKERS_4-H_Robot_Club/

groups.yahoo.com/group/TC_TINKERS_4-H_Robot_Club/join



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me