Charles River Analytics is partnering with 5D Robotics to develop an intuitive interface for controlling robotic leader-follower systems in small team operations for the US Army. The Multi-Modal Interface for Natural Operator Teaming with Autonomous Robots, or MINOTAUR, fuses multiple, proven leader-tracking and robot control technologies to provide a reliable, hands-free interface for Warfighters teaming with autonomous systems in challenging environments.
Charles River Analytics Teams with 5D Robotics to Develop Soldier-Machine Interface for US Army
CAMBRIDGE, MA - November 2, 2016 - Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has announced a follow-on award for a soldier-machine interface for the US Army. Charles River Analytics will continue to team with 5D Robotics to develop an intuitive interface for controlling robotic leader-follower systems in small team operations. The Multi-Modal Interface for Natural Operator Teaming with Autonomous Robots, or MINOTAUR, fuses multiple, proven leader-tracking and robot control technologies to provide a reliable, hands-free interface for Warfighters teaming with autonomous systems in challenging environments. The total contract covers two years and is valued at $1M.
"This is a particularly exciting project for us because MINOTAUR fuses novel technologies developed by a multi-disciplinary team of robotics, computer vision, natural language processing, and human factors experts at Charles River," said Camille Monnier, Principal Investigator on the effort. "The ultimate vision is to create a mule-like robot that is autonomous enough to offload Warfighters while maintaining their trust."
With MINOTAUR, operators can use voice and hand signals to send messages to a robot.
The MINOTAUR system's view of the world
MINOTAUR can help robots communicate with, and relay directions to other squads or assets. The robot can become a true support agent as part of a human-robot team, requiring direct teleoperation only to execute specific tasks that need the most human skill, such as disarming or detonating an IED. Through natural and reliable control, MINOTAUR-enabled UGV robots will reduce the cognitive burden on Warfighters in the field, increase trust in human-robot teams, and remove Warfighters from harm's way, thus accelerating the adoption of these mule-like UGV systems.
Read more about MINOTAUR
"The MINOTAUR program continues a decade-long relationship with US Army TARDEC during which we've pioneered numerous advances in unmanned systems capabilities geared to the needs of the Warfighter", said Rich Wronski, Division VP. "We look forward to continued collaboration and more autonomy-related breakthroughs in the years to come."
Charles River's technology will be demonstrated at the upcoming USMC Warfighting Lab exercises in October.
Learn more about our projects and capabilities in Unmanned Systems.
For more information about MINOTAUR or our related capabilities, contact us.
About Charles River Analytics: Since 1983, Charles River Analytics has been applying computational intelligence technologies to develop mission-relevant tools and solutions to transform our customers' data into knowledge that drives accurate assessment and robust decision-making. Charles River continues to grow its technology, customer base, and strategic alliances through research and development programs for the DoD and the Intelligence Community, addressing a broad spectrum of mission areas and functional domains, including: sensor and image processing, situation assessment and decision aiding, human systems integration, and cyber analytics. These efforts have resulted in a series of successful products that support continued growth in our core R&D contracting business, as well as the commercial sector. Charles River became an employee-owned company in 2012, to set the stage for the next-generation of innovation, service, and growth.
This material is based upon work supported by the US Army under Contract No. W56HZV-15-C-0110. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Army.