Applied Research Associates (ARA) from the USA unveiled at AUVSI 07 a new robotic application of the Caterpillar Multi Terrain Loader (MTL). ARA’s Modular Robotic Control System (MRCS) displayed at the AUVSI demonstration equipped a Cat 247B MTL customized for handling heavy unexploded ordnance. The vehicle can be fitted with various attachments, including grappler,disruptor, forks, bucket, backhoe, or mission specific sensors.
A version of this vehicle is customized for the US Army Nemesis demining vehicle. Nemesis will utilize the robotic vehicle with counter-mine systems automatically detecting anti-personnel and anti-tank mine. It will be fitted with ground penetration synthetic aperture radar (GPSAR), and electromagnetic induction sensors (EMI) detecting and locating buried mines with ‘centimeter accuracy’.
The vehicle will be able to carry out the mine detection mission automatically, moving at a slow speed, controlled by closed loop speed control, coupled with terrain sensing by ultrasonic standoff sensors mounted in front of each mine detector. These robotic platforms will also be able to carry ordnance clearing and area preparation tools for the actual demining work. ARA plans to complete the first system for testing by march 2008.