TORC demonstrates new RAZTEK UGV
TORC Robotics has announced that it has recently demonstrated an autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) for the US Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) that is capable of performing expedient runway surveys, including taking soil hardness measurements, providing terrain data and reporting hazards to flight. Known as the Robotic Assault Zone Terminal Evaluation Kit (RAZTEK), the system consists of TORC unmanned vehicle conversion kits and a Mosquito soil sampling device from MDA Corporation installed on a Lightweight Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (LTATV).
Developed by TORC, AFRL, and TecEdge, the RAZTEK system automates the surveying and sample collection processes, reducing risk on assault-zone survey missions while collecting higher quality data.
Torc said that the labour-intensive process of survey teams carrying all the neccessary equipment along open runway areas leaves them vulnerable to the many inherent risks of extended exposure times with limited situational awareness. By carrying out semi-autonomous surveying with RAZTEK robotic systems ‘offers a much faster, safer, more accurate means to gather the necessary data for assessing potential assault-zone landing strips.’
According to Torc, the robotic system conducts survey missions during day and night conditions. While an operator control unit, running FalconView-based mapping software, plans and enacts the survey missions, RAZTEK also provides tele-operation capability for remote control of the system from standoff locations. The converted vehicle maintains its original capabilities and allows for optionally manned operation.
For the initial RAZTEK system, the customer-selected mobility platform is up-fit with TORC’s ByWire, Tele-Op, and Autonomy UGV kits, configured to meet the required mission-specific behaviours. TORC technology interfaces with modular mission payloads, such as the Mosquito, to further automate the mission.
Torc said the RAZTEK system has undergone two limited technical assessments (LTA) in the last six months with a final demonstration and delivery to AFRL scheduled for May.
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