Here is an image of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) for perimeter security negotiating a gate.
This autonomous UGV was affectionately called a "grunt". The nature of this robotic program was dealing with a lots of “unknowns” and “never been dones” before. Nor it has always been a glamorous work. For example, take a look at this inovative plywood prototyping technique:
There was no shortage of tedious work and testing, countless hours burned figuring out various details, sometimes going to square one when things didn’t pan out as expected. The focus and perseverance is an absolute must have in R&D. So is upfront planning.
The second generation system design and integration challenges included highly modified Argo Conquest ATV platform with custom motion control system, actuators, variety of sensors, ruggedized electronics and computing, communications, custom battery and charging system, power conditioning and distribution system, dust and thermal management, remote e-stop system for safety during testing, etc.
Have never seen that before, eh?
Most importantly, sophisticated ROC software made the heart and soul of the system. This software made the system tick with the staggering collection of various hardware, sensors, being able to navigate the perimeter using various behaviours and collaborating with other robots, real or virtual. It was fun to watch or being chased by a robot with flashing LED lights.
Then there were the demonstrations... Regardless of amount of preparation Mr. Murphy always seemed to come for a visit one way or other.
While pucker factor was high with a lot riding on each one, the various demos turned out great.
This was by far the most complex and interesting program to date. It couldn’t have succeeded without the focus, dedication and talent of the Frontline engineers, scientists and other staff that I had the pleasure working with.