TORC Robotics Announces Unmanned Vehicle Conversion Kits for Ground Robotics Market

TORC Robotics now offers unmanned vehicle kits to rapidly configure tele-operated or autonomous capabilities on customer-selected platforms.

Blacksburg, VA March 20, 2012


TORC Robotics now offers unmanned vehicle conversion kits to rapidly configure by-wire, tele-operated, and autonomous control on customer selected mobility platforms. An open architecture supports the integration and control of modular mission payloads, allowing the kits to be used in a wide range of applications from basic unmanned vehicle research to Warfighter-ready solutions, including IED detection and defeat, ISR, RSTA, and CBRNE missions.

The kits integrate tightly with host vehicle systems to provide significant performance advantages over "one size fits all" solutions, while maintaining all of the vehicle's original capabilities for manned operation. By leveraging its Robotic Building Blocks™ product line for drive-by-wire conversion, safety, power management, autonomous navigation, and operator control, TORC is able to focus on the integration of customer-defined capabilities and mission-specific behaviors.

"While we continue to provide standalone products like the SafeStop and ByWire XGV, most of our customers are looking for more integrated solutions. These kits are based on the modular approach that we have used internally for the last six years on projects such as the Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate [GUSS] and the NFB Blind Driver Challenge," states Michael Fleming, CEO of TORC. "They are a natural extension of our product line and do a much better job communicating the value that TORC adds to those seeking unmanned ground vehicle capabilities."

The ByWire™ Kit provides the base vehicle conversion by integrating drive-by-wire control, power management, and safety interlocks to the platform. This provides control and monitoring of critical vehicle functions, allowing for the addition of tele-operated and autonomous capabilities. The modular components are able to interface with actuators and existing CAN networks to take advantage of factory vehicle systems. The ByWire features integrated SafeStop emergency stop technology, real-time system-wide health monitoring, redundant power and sensors, and automated failsafes to ensure the system and operator stay protected.

The Tele-Op Kit interfaces with the ByWire to provide remote control of the vehicle and modular mission payloads. TORC's operator interface provides intuitive vehicle, camera, and payload control and can be installed on multiple hardware options. A flexible video system offers multiple camera options and inputs for payload control to maximize the operator's situational awareness. The Tele-Op Kit includes a SafeStop handheld transmitter to provide an independent, wireless safety link to the ByWire, with an optional OEM SafeStop embedded within the operator control unit.

The Autonomy Kit provides multiple levels of autonomous control capable of operating in a wide range of environments and with custom, mission-specific behaviors. TORC's autonomy has demonstrated performance in cluttered off-road terrain, urban roads, and GPS-denied areas for extended periods. The core technology of the Autonomy Kit is the AutonoNav™, TORC's scalable, customizable suite of autonomous navigation software modules.

This functional approach allows customers to select the most appropriate vehicle platform based on their mission requirements, then add conversion kits to up-fit the with necessary robotic capabilities. Contact TORC to learn more about how the robotic conversion kits can work with your vehicle, missions, and payloads.

ABOUT TORC Robotics
TORC enables engineers to rapidly integrate robotic systems through a suite of modular, customizable products. Leading academic, commercial and government organizations use the TORC Robotic Building Blocks™ product line to shorten the development process, lower costs and mitigate risks. These products are used on more than 100 mobile robots ranging from 15 pounds to 15 tons. TORC provides solutions for drive-by-wire conversion, emergency stop, power management, autonomous navigation and operator control. For more information, visit http://www.torcrobotics.com.

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