Monday, April 03, 2006

Linux powers autonomous military ground vehicle

Linux powers autonomous military ground vehicle: "iRobot used embedded Linux to build an autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) aimed at military scouting, guarding, and hauling applications. The 'R-Gator' is based on John Deere's diesel-powered, 658cc M-Gator military utility vehicle platform, with control, navigation, and object-avoidance systems based on BlueCat Linux from LynuxWorks.

iRobot describes R-Gator as 'an intelligent UGV that can autonomously perform dangerous military missions, including acting as an unmanned scout, 'point man,' perimeter guard, [and] pack/ammo/supply carrier for soldiers, marines, and airmen.' The R-Gator can be shifted quickly between remote operation, autonomous, and manual modes, a feature that lets military personnel evaluate unmanned vehicle technology in 'numerous operational scenarios,' the company says.

In autonomous mode, the vehicle can provide robotic following. Or, it can autonomously navigate to GPS waypoints, using 'teach and playback,' iRobot says."

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