As part of an ongoing Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project, Sandia has developed a small, shoebox-sized, GPS-guided, unmanned ground vehicle that can jump over and/or onto obstacles over 6 meters high. With an estimated range of 2 kilometers, the robot can drive using motor-driven wheels or it can hop using a rotatable combustion-driven piston actuator.
We specialize in developing advanced mobility technologies to support a broad range of tasks and missions. 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 have been fielded for use for a variety of tasks including: surveillance and reconnaissance, autonomous exterior/interior intrusion detection, de-mining, improvised explosive device (IED) disablement, and accident response.
The Gemini-Scout Mine Rescue Robot was designed by Sandia robotics engineers to replace humans in the early stages of rescue planning and speed the process dramatically. The robot can enter potentially dangerous situations ahead of rescuers to evaluate hazardous environments and help them determine how operations should proceed, even delivering supplies to trapped miners. The Gemini Scout was developed at Sandia through a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sponsored program.
High Consequence, Automation, & Robotics (HCAR) is always looking to push the boundaries of mobility and overcome mobility challenges for robotic and unmanned systems. Volant, a multi-modal vehicle concept, is a design created by HCAR that would enable a single unmanned system to fly, swim, drive, and hop across a variety of terrains and obstacles. The concept may not be too far from reality, and HCAR is interested in teaming arrangements to help move this concept forward.