The Army’s Common Robotic System-Individual program is focused on creating a lightweight, highly-mobile, unmanned robotic system with advanced sensors and payload capabilities that can help support reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting missions. And early next year it will award contracts valued at up to $429 million in support of those initiatives.
Essentially, the Army is looking for something that is simple to transport and operate, but capable of providing support for complex and dangerous tasks.
One option could be the Scorpion from Endeavor Robotics. Weighing less than 25 pounds, the remotely-controlled robots are small enough to be carried in a backpack, can be powered up in less than a minute, and use a manipulating arm in performing tasks such as defusing bombs.
The unit’s ability to traverse rough terrain and operate while submerged combines with multiple cameras, whose capabilities include thermal and night-vision functionality, to support targeting and intelligence-gathering missions while minimizing soldier risk.
The Scorpion’s body is comprised of lightweight composites. This not only keeps the unit’s weight down but enables repairs via 3D-printed parts in the field. This translates to quicker mission readiness and improved soldier support. The unit also features an open architecture design, so add-ons in the form of sensors, cameras, or other performance-enhancing components are nearly limitless.
Additionally, if the robot loses communications with the operator, it can autonomously backtrack until communication is restored.