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New set of eyes for long-lived robot

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Josiah Brown
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Technology is constantly advancing and improving. As for those in the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal shop at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, they have received a new set of eyes for their ANDROS F6 Robot.

The ANDROS F6 Robot is a heavy-duty unmanned ground vehicle designed for EOD members. The new C360 camera from the company gives the EOD shop 3D capabilities.

"The new camera gives the robot driver the ability of depth perception," said Tech. Sgt. Evan Schuldt, 7th CES ordnance disposal technician. "Interacting in a three-dimensional environment on a two-dimensional screen presents unique challenges."

The previous camera the F6 Robot used was two-dimensional and presented challenges. When driving the robot, the user had limited sight and had to use shadows and watch for movement of other things to control the robot accurately.

"The new camera is important because it has proven to limit the time on target and improved the efficiency of completing a mission by not needing to take excessive corrective measures due to visual errors," said Airman 1st Class Tylor Van Grinsven, 7th CES, EOD Team Member. 

The C360 camera has already shown improvements in a series of test times. These tests include picking up and moving an egg from one cone to another, removing a blasting cap from explosives in a narrow container, and inserting a key into a door handle in low light.
"We saw an average reduction in the task completion time of 35 percent with the new camera system," Schuldt said. "Another improvement besides the 3D capability was increased screen resolution and quality."
 An EOD robot's importance is its ability to complete tasks in dangerous environments, so the operator doesn't need to approach the explosive and can stay out of harm's way at a safe distance.
"When a robot is able to complete a task in a dangerous environment, an EOD tech does not need to walk down, exposing him/herself to a life-threatening situation," Schuldt said. "The new camera reduces the chance of having to make a manual approach."