JUNE 2023 | TECHNOLOGY REPORT | UGVs
As the world’s leading unmanned ground systems (UGS) supplier with more than 9,000 battle-tested tactical robots deployed, Teledyne FLIR Defense has three decades of experience and more than 3 million hours of robot operation in the most difficult environments around the globe. During that time, we’ve helped military and security personnel in over 55 countries defeat roughly 55,000 explosive devices.
Today, Teledyne FLIR Defense continues to lead the way in ground robotics technology and practical solutions. We partner with U.S. and international defense forces, law enforcement, public safety, energy and industrial users to design technologically advanced robots that support a wide range of missions. Whether it’s a roadside bomb on the battlefield, a suspicious package on the subway, or a potential HAZMAT situation, our robots help keep troops, first responders, and the public safe.
Ranging in size from five to 500 pounds, our trusted robots have been used countless times in the field to provide greater standoff distance from danger. Using an array of sensors, they gather valuable intelligence so decision-makers can better understand the situation and respond to possible threats. Our family of UGSs are modular, adaptable, easy-to-use, and meet or exceed the needs of operators in any uniform. Our goal is to provide the right tool for the mission.
But did you know that all of our robots, from the five pound FirstLook to the 500 pound Kobra, can be controlled using the same controller?
The family of systems offered by Teledyne FLIR Defense Unmanned Ground Systems are all controlled by the uPoint® Multi-Robot Controller. A single device that gives operators unprecedented flexibility to utilize any of their ground robots from a common controller. With a ruggedized and intuitive touchscreen interface (optional hand controllers), uPoint allows operators to command their robots with ease, whether they're controlling a single robot or a fleet. With features such as teleoperation, pre-set poses, maps, integrated CBRN sensors, and more all at the tip of your finger, uPoint enables operators to complete complex tasks quickly and efficiently. Also, training is faster and simplified when users only need to learn one controller to manage all robots.
Let’s take a look at the family of Teledyne FLIR Defense unmanned ground systems.
FirstLook® is a lightweight, throwable robot that can quickly navigate through tight spaces and hazardous areas. With its compact design and advanced sensor technology, FirstLook is ideal for rapid reconnaissance and surveillance, allowing operations where other robots can’t fit or maneuver and providing critical intelligence in real-time. This rugged, lightweight robot can be inserted into structures and provides operators with visual, audio, and sensor feedback before entry. FirstLook can navigate obstacles, crawl through pipes and tunnels, turn in place and self-right when flipped over. Quick to power-up, FirstLook can be deployed in a moment’s notice.
PackBot® 525 is a rugged, portable, medium sized robot that can be deployed in any hazardous environment and is flexible enough to accomplish any mission. It can lift up to 44 lbs (20 kg), runs for over eight hours, and stows neatly in a vehicle, even fitting in a car’s trunk. If conducting bomb disposal operations, reconnaissance missions, or disaster response efforts, PackBot can navigate through debris, climb stairs, and traverse rough terrain with ease. Its advanced sensor technology provides real-time High-Definition video for situational awareness, allowing operators to stay safe while completing complex tasks.
Kobra™ 725 provides an unmatched combination of strength, power, and payload support. A highly maneuverable platform in rough terrain, the robot is able to climb stairs, reach over eleven feet in the air, and stow into tight spaces for transportation. The state-of-the-art, IOP-compliant system allows for future third party payload expansion. Kobra 725 allows easy integration and deployment of a large range of accessories for EOD, CBRN/HazMat, breaching, and other applications. Weighing in at over 500 pounds (227 kg), the Kobra is capable of taking on the biggest jobs our customers have. And, with a runtime of 10-hours, this system can persist on scene without interruption.
As with any tech company, the question of “What’s next?” may be more important than what has already been accomplished. At Teledyne FLIR Defense UGS we’re excited by the developments our team has made in expanding the capabilities of current platforms, such as introducing HD video and adopting open standards to support and encourage future integration of new specialized payloads. A major benefit of being part of the Teledyne Technologies family is the access to the exceptional breadth and depth of technology and supporting knowledge the company has to offer in the sensor and solution space. New opportunities to equip robots with stereoscopic cameras, LiDAR’s, advanced CBRN sensors, and powerful computation coupled with rapid advancements in AI will enable greater autonomy for robots to complete missions with less human direction – navigating, sensing and gathering intelligence that ease the work of operators and enhance situational awareness and decision-making.
Our mission is clear - put distance between good people and bad things. Now, with access to more technology and support than ever before, we are excited about investments regarding sensor integration, mapping, and autonomous exploration of known and unknown spaces. For customers who rely on one or more of our robots for different applications, it’s important to be able to easily control and manipulate the robots when called upon. Whether it’s the small, throwable FirstLook, the medium- sized and highly configurable PackBot, or the large workhorse Kobra, Teledyne FLIR Defense Unmanned Ground Systems is ready to support your mission in the most difficult environments with the uPoint Multi-Robot Controller.