Unmanned Systems in BOA Program

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The French BOA program will include several unmanned vehicles for airborne and ground applications. Among the systems considered are Autonomous Ground Vehicles (UGV) which will be used to carry sensors and various loads in assistance to dismounted infantry equipped with FELIN suits. Systems under considerations are small robots, (EOD vehicle size) used for short range sensor deployment, surveillance of urban environments, and larger weapons carriers, used either in tele-operated or autonomous operating modes. The program evaluates various concepts including human-robot interactions.

One such concept is focused on the use of a wearable display computer, which is also considered for FELIN. With operator assistance, the robot will optimize the negotiation of obstacles, focusing on the main points of interest, while scouting an objective. The computer will be able to display images captured by the sensors, generate maps of the interior in buildings using of distance measuring devices or detect moving objects.

The organization of autonomous control architecture will be examined, with evaluation of navigation and orientation (concepts including inertial measurements, vision and telemetry, odometry and GPS). Aspects unique to the cooperation among groups of robots will be studied. mobility means to be examined, will include combinations of wheeled, tracked and legged mobility systems. Under a different program the French OPART system was developed as a video sensor dedicated for robotic applications. The sensor utilizes two video images taken through a split lens which provides both wide field of view and aimable narrow field of view imaging. The system is considered for applications such as unstructured road boundaries tracking and target acquisition.