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Drone

Endeavor Robotics unveiled its Centaur medium UGV at AUSA in Washington DC on 8 October, after delivering early test units of the platforms to the US Army for evaluation with more to be delivered through to the end of 2018.

The platform was selected as the winner for the Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) requirement in October 2017 and is the first new platform developed by the company for seven years. 

Testing is being carried out by the army at Fort Aberdeen Proving Ground and Ft Leonard and the company is carrying out its own testing.

Demonstrations of the platform are expected to begin next year and the company has described the platform as ‘near production standard’ with training underway at Ft Leonard and knowledge transfer ongoing.

The tracks for the system are an Icor technology design similar to those used on its Caliber UGVs and are being manufactured by Endeavor Robotics under licence.

The platform has approximate dimensions of 1m wide, a 1.5m long and 30cm high. It has a maximum speed of 4km/h, an endurance of 8h and weight of 72kg. The communications range via radio is 800m Line-of-Sight (LOS) and 150m non-LOS or 200m tethered.

It can handle slopes of 30° and stairs of 43° and clear 15cm obstacles. The robotic arm has five degrees of freedom, a vertical reach of 1.9m, and a maximum lift of 7kg at full extension and 15kg at part extension. The platform can carry a payload of 68kg.

Under the $100 million MTRS contract 1,200 will be delivered and there is a possibility of additional platforms under a further $59 million option with deliveries occurring through to 2024.

The platform is capable of carrying, deploying and retrieving a smaller UGV such as the Endeavour Robotics FirstLook. This provides greater capability to operate within structures, under vehicles or in small spaces and keeps personnel further removed from danger when the use of a small UGV is necessary since these platforms are unable to cover even slightly difficult terrain or operate at longer ranges.

The main camera is a rear mast-mounted sensor which is capable of detecting a person at 600m in daylight or 300m in lowlight. CBRN sensors include MultiRAE Pro, JCAD, FIDO XT, Radiac and FirstDefender RMX.