Robotic Research received a $16.5 million order to supply its warfighter localization sensor units to the U.S. Army.
Based in Clarksburg, Maryland, Robotic Research provides robotic technology for commercial and government autonomous operations. Through this deal the company is offering its tech, called WarLoc, to help better equip four deployed U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams in different locations, a press release states. The first batch of WarLoc units have already been shipped to an Army team.
WarLoc units provide localization and positioning data for Army or first responder teams who are working in environments that can’t be steadily tracked via GPS, including underground facilities. The devices mount to a person’s footwear and communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth capabilities. Each WarLoc unit includes two sensors, one is mounted near the top of the foot an attached via shoelaces and the other is mounted to the back heel and attached through straps.
The WarLoc unit results are displayed to a user in a variety of applications, including an Android Tactical Assault Kit.
“GPS provides an easy solution to tracking, but GPS has well-known limitations, including the inability to function inside most buildings,” Robotic Research executives told Technical.ly via a spokesperson. “This limitation is overcome by augmenting the tracking system with an inertial measurement unit. These systems are robust to GPS denial, jamming, and/or spoofing.”
Robotic Research was able to create the WarLoc product to ensure greater security and safety for forces in the field due to the company’s close relationship with operators, warfighters and soldiers, and therefore a greater understanding of their needs: “Robotic Research is a recognized leader in providing advanced robotics and localization technologies for the government and military,” the executives said.
All WarLoc units will be delivered to the four Army teams by the end of the government’s 2020 fiscal year.
The U.S. Army Product Manager Sets, Kits Outfits and Tools is the procuring organization that has obtained the WarLoc units and will be managing further deployment of the devices. This organization reports to the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Services Support, which oversees these type of tools and their life cycle when being used by soldiers, the press release states.
There are other companies and government agencies currently using WarLoc units, but the spokesperson said Robotic Research is “not authorized to provide [further] details at this time” about which organizations those are.
Robotic Research is the company behind the tech that runs Olli autonomous shuttles. Last month, the company was granted permission by the Maryland Department of Transportation to operate Local Motors’ autonomous shuttle Olli in Maryland’s Montgomery County.