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.
San Diego bomb squads asked for a robot training facility to be set up at a local Fire department training base with the purpose of training bomb technicians to become better robot operators. The design and implementation of the test facility was done by NIST in collaboration with Robolit LLC. The Facility was set up on 11/10/14 and used throughout the following week.
Robolit LLC assisted in the training exercises through administering and recording tests performed for data collection. During the time of the event multiple local bomb squads were introduced to and practiced on the test apparatuses built and shipped by Tyndall Air Force Base.
The facility is to be used actively by both new and experienced bomb technicians. They were trained on how to administer their own tests so that the facility can continue to operate without the assistance of NIST or Robolit LLC.
The Bomb Squad Commanders Meeting brought together various bomb squads, robot developers, and the NIST team to collaborate in expanding each other’s reach. This event was held from the 25th to the 29th of August. The purpose was to show bomb squads the importance of needing the “Standard Robot Test Methods” to score/train themselves to be better bomb technicians as well as introduce them to the various robots they may want to use during real world scenarios.
Robolit was tasked with the design and layout of the test methods to be shown as well as assisting in the fabrication and set-up of the event. Robolit was also asked to capture and record various robot tests through video and through data collection.
The event proved to be very successful in that a large percentage of bomb squads were responding with the desire to implement NIST’s robot test methods in their facilities. The overall goal was to create more applicable robots to real disasters by collecting the feedback of the bomb squads and adjusting the test methods to fit the issues they are running into most often in real scenarios.