field of activity pursued by unmanned ground systems are the
heavy engineer vehicles. In the past, robotic systems were implemented
in such vehicles, but such functions were primarily used in
remote control operation, requiring special expertise and complex
manipulation of the vehicle's systems. By utilizing the latest,
digital control and remote vision, autonomy and control are
elevated to a new level which enables operators to use the systems
as effectively as they were operating it from the cockpit.
Such systems are currently in development at Israel Aerospace
Industries' Ramta Division, with team members InRob Ltd. (OTC
BB:IRBL.OB) and Israel Tractors and Equipment, Ltd. the Caterpillar
dealer in Israel. This industry team has recently introduced
two integrated ground systems, the robotoc Mini-Cat and the
robotic D9T heavy bulldozer.
of the robotic Mini-Cat program, the team developed a dedicated
robotic control system to convert Caterpillar's Multi-Terrain
Loader (MTL) type MTL 257 B (also known as the "MiniCat"),
into an unmanned platform for use in military, para-military,
law enforcement, and civilian operations. The vehicle has been
integrated with a military-qualified robotic control system
control system, developed by InRob into the MTL. The ergonomic
remote control unit utilizing a tough touch screen, developed
specifically for this platform, is providing the operator full
control of typical complex tasks in real time. All the functions
provided by the manned MTL 257 re enabled via remote control,
including state of its scoop, health of the power pack, view
from vehicle-mounted cameras, etc.
The new robotic MTL will fill the strong demand for a UGV of
this type by performing a broad range of engineering and debris-clearing
applications while providing customized solutions using the
most advanced technology.
Ramta is also working on a much heavier unmanned vehicle -
the robotic controlled D9T bulldozer. This project is a jointly-funded
program between the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and IAI
Ramta. The program is under development over the past two years
with first systems planned to be completed for testing in 2007.
The IDF is already operating robotic D9 dozers, developed at
Ramta under an earlier program. The new robotic D9T will be
more advanced. The IDF has already ordered the first conversion
kit with the first D9T expected to become operational by the
end of 2007. The robotic dozer uses the latest in digital command
and control technologies to interface with the onboard computer.
The new platforms is both automated functions and semi autonomous
features to handle heavy explosive charges and dangerous obstacles
without risk to human life.
Expands Range of Autonomous Ground Vehicles
March 2007 Issue