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Adaptive Materials successfully powers robot

23rd September 2008 - 01:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Adaptive Materials, the leading innovator in portable solid oxide fuel cell technology, recently completed successful testing of its hybrid system for small ground robots, a key milestone in the company’s 2-year project.

With support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Adaptive Materials has proven that its fuel cell system can power small robots across various terrains while the robot conducts surveillance and other mission-critical operations.

The proof of concept testing, which took place at the independent Southwest Research Institute, included testing an iRobotPackBot, powered by an Adaptive Materials’ solid oxide fuel cell system, across a number of military relevant terrains.  The PackBot was powered by a hybrid system that combined Adaptive Materials’ fuel cell system with a lithium battery to deliver unparalleled performance and duration.

“Adaptive Materials’ solid oxide fuel cell system helps achieve maximum potential for small robots,” explain Michelle Crumm, Adaptive Materials’ chief business officer.  “Lightweight, convenient and powered by globally-available propane, Adaptive Materials fuel cells improve the overall functionality and duration of a robot in mission-critical settings.”

Today the U.S. Army and other armed services have deployed thousands of unmanned systems to disarm improvised explosive devices from a safe distance. The increased run time possible with an Adaptive Materials hybrid fuel cell system could open the door for additional missions.

Adaptive Materials is working to deliver a fuel cell system for small ground robots that will power the vehicle for more than 12 hours at a time.  This increased duration of operations will enable the robots to have longer endurance during missions. 

These robots also have potential to assist first responders and others in disaster zones search debris and complete tasks that would put people in harm’s way.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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