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A New Breed of Robot Emerges
AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH CENTER ANN ARBOR MI
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Unmanned ground vehicles UGVs are robotic ground vehicles capable of operating in a variety of environments and functioning in place of humans. A typical UGV, the PackBot by iRobot, is shown in Figure 1left and consists of a manipulator arm and sensor suite mounted on a mobile in this case tracked chassis. Also shown in Figure 1right is the OmniTread robot designed to search through rubble. UGVs of various kinds are used to do a variety of dirty, dull, and dangerous tasks, such as vacuuming a room harvesting crops, carrying heavy loads for long distances, or disabling explosives. In this article, we document the emergence of UGVs into the economic mainstream, describe the research needed to support their continued evolution, and present examples of current research at the University of Michigans Ground Robotics Reliability Center GRRC.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE