(NSI News Source Info) OSHKOSH, Wis. — April 3, 2009: Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, announced today it is working in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) to develop and evaluate potential new and innovative uses of the company’s autonomous technology. As a result, Oshkosh will gain the military application data needed to refine its autonomous technology and move it closer to production. TerraMax™—The future of unmanned ground vehicles and leader-follower technology. Completely autonomous, requiring no driver and no remote control, the TerraMax was developed to help take troops out of harm’s way and reduce the personnel necessary to maintain supply lines. Based on Oshkosh’s MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement) defense truck, TerraMax is equipped with technologies that include complex sensing systems, high-power computers and drive-by-wire technology. TerraMax was one of only five vehicles, and the only tactical cargo hauler, to complete the 2005 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Grand Challenge’s 132-mile desert course. TerraMax exhibited obstacle avoidance, GPS waypoint following, and 30 hours of continuous operation—all applicable to military missions. Oshkosh has already integrated unmanned and leader-follower technology in the PLS, a 10-wheel-drive truck and trailer system. On November 3, 2007 Team Oshkosh competed in the third DARPA Grand Challenge, the Urban Challenge, which called for teams to compete to build an autonomous vehicle able to complete a 60-mile urban course safely in less than six hours. TerraMax was one of only 11 teams to qualify for the finals, and did so by demonstrating the advanced navigation and traffic skills required to safely compete in the race. After the qualification test Dr. Tony Tether, director of DARPA complimented the team on being the safest performer on the merging vehicle course of the 11 chosen to compete. The NSWC will be sponsoring these cooperative operations, which will involve Oshkosh’s unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), TerraMax™, and take place at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. TerraMax is based on Oshkosh’s Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) 4x4, and the NSWC will investigate the use of TerraMax as a Roboticized-MTVR (R-MTVR) in different mission-specific scenarios. If successful, the work could lead to new uses of UGVs and autonomous technologies on the battlefield. “Oshkosh Defense is excited to be breaking new ground in the autonomous-technology field with the NSWC,” said Andy Hove, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense. “We are still in the early exploratory stages of finding ways we can make missions safer for our soldiers through the use of UGVs, and opportunities such as these are important first steps.” TerraMax features the Oshkosh Command Zone® drive-by-wire technology, which allows computer-controlled steering and direct electronic control of the acceleration, braking and transmission systems. The vehicle also features a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system, camera-based vision and a GPS/IMU system for operation and navigation purposes.
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