Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Alejandro Zarate - St. Philip's College
Co-Author(s): Dr. Patrick Benavidez, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
A lost or fallen soldier is one of the biggest fears that their families may have. Could we not worry about soldiers being lost or physically going into battle one day? As our technology advances, our military and biosciences/medicine advances too. We can?t deny that these professions go hand in hand. Today, we have (UGVs) unmanned ground vehicles and (UAVs) unmanned air vehicles to search for lost/fallen soldiers. The vehicles identified in this category have someone manually controlling them from a land station or a nearby portable command station. These vehicles are similar to (RCVs) remote control vehicles with some limited autonomous programming. This operation can be seen in the Ripsaw by (Howe & Howe Technologies), Black Knight by (BAE) Systems, Mule, RQ-170 Sentinel by (Lockheed Martin), and the MQ-1 Predator by USA Air Force. These types of vehicles also have a human operator. At the ACE lab at UTSA, a team of researchers is implementing a solution to this problem. The identified solution was a System of Systems based program designed to provide a platform of communication to other software. The program was tested on a small scale. The team used a ? scale (RC) remote control model car based in a jeep wrangler and small robots to test the program. The jeep served as the main ?mother computer? that processed big decisions and commanded the small robots. The small robots scouted the area and provided feedback to the jeep. This process was completed by using WiFI, ROS programming, HTC Vive Lighthouse, and an RPLIDAR. The testing of the system of systems program was a success inside the lab. With WiFI connection, the main robot connected to the smaller robots and commanded them to scout the front area. The small robots moved and reported their data to the main robot. After that transaction of data, the chief robot made a decision to move forward and repeat the process. When the system of systems program was tested outside the lab, the team had connectivity issues with the Wi-Fi, and the testing could not proceed. Once back inside the lab, there were no connectivity issues. The team will need to identify an overwrite for the firewall with a security code to start testing in an uncontrolled environment. More research is required to test the program on a larger scale and actual military vehicles. The team hopes to advance this program/technology to help track fallen soldiers and potentially remove soldiers from future battlefields.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, AWARD NO:1712626
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Patrick Benavidez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I assisted with developing and testing the systems of systems program.