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130523-N-PX557-045 (May 23, 2013) Students attending U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I. take turns controlling a Recon Scout XL tactical micro-robot during a presentation of unmanned robotic systems with ReconRobotics, Inc. The presentation was provided as part of the “Unmanned Systems and Conflict in the 21st Century” course at NWC and served as an opportunity for students to gain exposure and expand their knowledge of unmanned technologies. The Recon Scout XL weighs 1.2 pounds and can be thrown 120 feet or dropped vertically 30 feet onto concrete. Once deployed, the robot is controlled by a single joystick on the operational control unit and allows immediate “eyes-on” an objective while allowing the operator to be positioned safely at a distance. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl/Released)


By Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
May 28, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. - Students attending U.S. Naval War College (NWC) participated in a presentation and discussion of unmanned robotic systems with ReconRobotics, Inc. and Hydroid, Inc. at NWC in Newport, R.I., May 23.

The presentation was provided as part of the “Unmanned Systems and Conflict in the 21st Century” course at NWC and served as an opportunity for future decision makers to gain exposure and expand their knowledge of unmanned technologies.

“It’s important to be aware of advancements we’re making now because they will change the strategic and operational environment of which our warfighters will be engaged in,” said Laurie Schrall, a NWC student from Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Representatives from ReconRobotics demonstrated the tactical micro-robot Recon Scout XL and Throwbot XT systems, robotic systems developed to deploy quickly and provide immediate reconnaissance within dangerous or hostile environments.

“It takes less than five seconds to deploy,” said Todd Litke, business development representative for ReconRobotics. “You pull the pin, throw it and the operational control unit (OCU) comes on to view in less than five seconds. It provides situational awareness for your tactical teams.”

According to Litke, more than 2,000 of the Recon Scout XL robots are already being employed by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.

The tactical micro-robots weigh 1.2 pounds and can be thrown 120 feet or dropped vertically 30 feet onto concrete. Once deployed, the robot is controlled by a single joystick on the OCU and allows immediate “eyes-on” an objective while allowing the operator to be positioned safely at a distance.

“It gives [operators] a tactical advantage and situational awareness that can save lives,” said Litke.

In addition, representatives from Hydroid were on hand for students to learn and discuss Remote Environmental Measuring Unit S Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (REMUS AUVs). On display was the REMUS 100, a compact, light-weight AUV which operates in coastal environments up to 100 meters in depth. It can be fitted with a variety of sensors for use with such applications as hydrographic surveys, mine counter measures, harbor security operations, environmental monitoring, debris field mapping, search and salvage operations, fishery operations and scientific sampling and mapping.

“Unmanned technology is still fairly new,” said John Jackson, professor for the “Unmanned Systems and Conflict” in the 21st Century” course at NWC. “It’s important for our future leaders to gain more experience and exposure to unmanned systems. Learning the capabilities and limitations of these systems will help facilitate making well informed decisions.

During the course, we discuss air, ground unmanned and maritime systems as well as legal and ethics issues surrounding their uses.”


Edited and posted by Daniel S. Marciniak