Research

Research & Development

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Sandia's Intelligent Systems, Robotics, & Cybernetics (ISRC) group has the capabilities, expertise, and experience to develop advanced automation solutions for a variety of complex and high-consequence tasks and missions. ISRC has expertise in six core research areas that are the foundations for robotic and intelligent systems research and development. Bringing these core research areas together and leveraging the expertise across Sandia in areas such as microelectronics, materials, and power systems, enables us to design and develop unique robotic and non-robotic automation solutions to address a wide variety of challenging tasks and missions for our customers.

Our core research and development areas

Advanced Controls

ISRC specializes in the development of advanced control technology that enables a range of applications such as the control of multiple heterogeneous unmanned systems by one operator, to the control of a swarm of robotic platforms operating toward a common goal. Our control technology is advancing the state-of-the-art in unmanned systems and robotics technology and is enabling ground-breaking applications.

Advanced Manipulation

We have a long history of automating robots for difficult manipulation tasks. Leveraging Sandia-developed sensor technologies to locate objects in the environment, coupled with automated motion planners and force sensing and control technologies, has enabled the development of advanced robot manipulators that can move to desired locations, perform safe interactions with hazardous materials, and can even perform fine manipulation tasks such as opening doors and performing surgery.

Unique Mobility

With expertise in mechanical design and fabrication, video and vision processing, communications systems, embedded computing, control, and navigation, we develop advanced mobility systems that are able to overcome a variety of obstacles and terrains, and are used for a variety of tasks including: surveillance and reconnaissance, autonomous exterior/interior intrusion detection, de-mining, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) disablement, and accident response.

Perception and Decision Tools

ISRC specializes in the development of advanced perception technologies and decision tools that enable robotic and unmanned systems to perform more complex and autonomous tasks, such as simultaneous localization and mapping of a building. Our perception capabilities include 3-D geometric modeling and texture mapping, 3-D video motion detection, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), and augmented reality training. 

Cybernetics

Leveraging the expertise at Sandia in material science, microsystems, and advanced modeling and simulation we design and develop advanced cybernetic technologies for a variety of applications. Cybernetics includes the development of mechanical, physical, biological, and cognitive systems that enable the development of advanced man-machine interface technologies. Our work in this area has led to the development of dynamic prosthetics technology, implantable sensors with neural interfaces, and modular integrated microsystems. 

High-Consequence Automation

We're the leader in developing cost-effective reliable automated systems to handle materials used in conventional and nuclear weapons. Applications range from flexible systems for automated disassembly of outdated munitions to systems for the destruction of hazardous waste. Leveraging the high-consequence design and control principals used in these systems we have developed other applications that require the same level of robustness and safety, to include Remotely Operated Weapons Systems (ROWS) technology, explosives automation, and guided bullet technology.