Robolit assisted in the administration of two large procurement testing events. Several robots came to NIST HQ, Gaithersburg to run through over 30 standard or developmental tests and have data recorded based on their performance. The data collected from these events was used to make a decision worth millions of dollars in purchases.
The first procurement was done for the Air Force and was worth $25 million. This event was held on various weeks within May, June and July where it featured small response robots such as the MTGR, Dragon Runner DR10, Firstlook 110, and the Packbot 310. The Air Force considered the data collected on each of these robots and decided to purchases several units of the MTGR. Utilizing the data collected on those four robots with the addition of data collected on the Caliber mini from ICOR another $2 million purchase was made. The winner of this procurement is not yet public news and cannot be revealed at this time.
The second procurement was for the Metrotech Bomb squads and featured four robots within the middle and heavy weight classes. This procurement was for $10 million. The robots that were tested were the Caliber T5, MK4, Telemax, and the Andros FX. The data was only recently collected and has not been submitted to the Bomb Squad yet.
In summary Robolit administered and prepared robot testing for $37 million in purchases.
The second of the Reven’s Interoperability Challenge where NIST developed robot/operator evaluation test methods is conducted. Robolit, as part of the NIST team, helped with the setup and conduction of the tests. This event is a major step in dissemination of the ASTM test methods that have been under development for over a decade.
Reven’s Interoperability Exercise for countering IED is held in Denver, CO. Robolit as part of the NIST team set up a robot/operator performance evaluation test bed that is inspired by the ASTM robot test methods. The event is a major milestone where robot operator training and evaluation incorporates objective and measurable platform independent manner.
RoboCup German Open is held in Magdeburg, Germany from April 23-26, 2015. Robolit took part in the Rescue League organizing committee to assist with judging the competitions. In the course of the events a new evaluation method for the best in class manipulation event is developed and used in conducting the competitions on the last day of the event.
ASTM international hosted a meeting where it brought employees from multiple organizations to help standardize various operations, materials, procedures, apparatuses, etc. NIST is a large part of this meeting, more specifically the Standardizing of test methods for response robots. This conference was held in New Orleans, LA for a three-day period in the Sheraton Hotel. Over the course of the three days there were specific times and rooms allotted for the “Robotics Group” to present and evaluate their test methods. The “Robotics Group” (E54.08.01) consisted of employees from multiple companies around the world.
Robolit LLC worked along side NIST, The Nerve Center, SWRI, and JAEA to help discuss and present issues with some of the current test methods for response robots. Robolit provided detailed design sketches of the current test methods as well as being able change and create and new design ideas proposed along the way. Test changes included simplifying the evaluation forms of the manipulation, mobility, and maneuvering tests to accommodate multiple tests on one form as well as to clarify the parameters for “testing faults” and when to determine “success and/or statistical significance”. Also, the physical design of many tests was changed to help create a more fair testing process for varying robot weight, size and configuration.