Accession Number:



Telerobotic Excavation System for Unexploded Ordnance Retrieval

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The small emplacement excavator SEE is a ruggedized military vehicle with backhoe and front loader used by the U.S. Army for unexploded ordnance UXO retrieval and general utility excavation activities. In order to evaluate the feasibility of removing personnel from the vehicle during high-risk excavation tasks a development and demonstration projec was initiated to evaluate performance capabilities of the SEE under telerobotic control. Development of a telerobotic SEE TSEE was performed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL in a project funded jointly by the U.S. Army, Project Manager for Ammunition Logistics PM-AMMOLOG and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Technology Development, Robotics Technology Development Program. The TSEE features teleoperated driving, a telerobotic backhoe with four degrees-of-freedom, and a teleoperated front loader with two degrees-of-freedom on the bucket. Remote capabilities include driving forward, reverse, brake, and steering, power takeoff shifting to enable digging modes, deploying stabilizers, excavation and computer system booting. The system is operated with an intuitive hand controller at a remotely located portable, suitcase-size base station. A technology demonstration of the TSEE was conducted at McKinley Range, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama on 13-17 September, 1993. The primary objective of the demonstration was to evaluate and demonstrate the feasibility of remote UXO retrieval. During the demonstration, explosive ordnance disposal specialists were instructed on telerobotic operation of the TSEE, and then were asked to complete a simulated UXO retrieval task. Participants then submitted an evaluation of the system including human factors performance data. This presentation will describe the TSEE, retrieval demonstration, and summarize results of the performance evaluations. Some examples of the results are given below. Seventy percent of the demonstration participants found the tasks were as e

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Surface Transportation and Equipment

Distribution Statement: