Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG 2015

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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35 unmanned systems inside September/October 2015 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. researchers studied the vehicle paint schemes, uniforms, and equipment in use by emergency response teams around the world. "All of this was geared toward 'How do we make a robot that looks like a piece of profes- sional equipment?'" Kennedy said. "On the one hand, JPL didn't want 'Terminator.' On the other hand, you couldn't make it Hello Kitty because it wouldn't look professional." Kennedy said because many adults still react to RoboSimian's spiderlike features, JPL didn't fully succeed in its product design. "As an engi- neer I need to solve this problem. It doesn't have the right number of body segments, it doesn't have the right number of limbs [to be a spider] but the human brain does its pattern recognition thing and says 'spider.'" The robot is of course named RoboSimian, and Kennedy said JPL actually considered cov- ering it in fur. "We…rejected that as being coun- terproductive in terms of 'not scary.'" JPL is continuing to work on the problem as it also works on determining if RoboSimian, or a robot descended from RoboSim- ian, can function in space. As the hardware design is totally modular (JPL al- ready demonstrated this by using spare RoboSim- ian parts to design a to- tally new robot called Surrogate), a spacefaring RoboSimian could sport extra limbs or different hardware. Which might make the robot look even more spiderlike. Luckily some lessons are for Earthsiders only. "People in space care a lot less about how things look," Kennedy said. COST-EFFECTIVE REAL-TIME NAVIGATION & GEOREFERENCING SOLUTIONS Inertial Navigation Systems The contest, inspired by the goal of developing robots able to assist in an emergency, also had the entrants cross a feld of rubble. 10

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