Moving with the times
Deakin University’s Centre for Intelligent Systems Research has produced the OzBot™ - a ruggedised mobile platform designed for law enforcement and defence applications.
One emerging role for the robot is delivering sensory information to Australian soldiers.
They use the machine to checkout suspicious or dangerous objects - all from from a safe distance of as much as half a kilometre.
Something else that makes the robot unique is another area of expertise in which Deakin is a leader - haptics.
The OzBot™ uses haptic technology, something that allows the user to "feel" objects being inspected by the robot despite being up to 500 metres away.
That information includes weight, texture and pressure of objects, all assessed as if the person holding the controls was actually touching the suspicious object.
Professor Saeid Nahavandi, is the director of CISR.
He says the OzBot™ will allow to make more information decisions about suspicious looking devices - whether to detonate the object or defuse it for intelligence gathering.
"If you blow the bomb up then you will lose a lot of forensic information, but if you defuse it, you can gather up all sorts of information such as the source of materials used to make it," Professor Nahavandi said.
Surgery is another area making use of hapitcs, and combined with the OzBot™, this too could be happen on the battlefield.
The OzBot™ has been developed with the input of military and civilian authorities.
It provides first-responder capability for tactical reconnaissance or mission critical tasks. The OzBot™ platform is suitable for both urban and unstructured terrain including missions that require a stair climbing capability.
All functions of the remote platform are accessed using the portable hand-held controller which provides access to a host of features, including dual simultaneous video streams, full duplex bi-directional audio, illumination settings and the control interfaces for attached auxiliary devices.
The OzBot™ platform can be deployed for under-vehicle and site inspection at major events or stand-off detection and evaluation of hazardous substances using auxiliary sensing equipment. Infrared cameras can easily be added to perform thermal analysis of an individual or vehicle and two systems can be deployed with X-ray equipment capable of scanning a suspect package. Custom interfaces can be supplied to connect your existing equipment to the OzBot™ platform for remote deployment.