Project AURES was a very complex collaborative project with very demanding requirements in terms of project management and the dedication of all the actors concerned. I was impressed by FOI on a number of different levels. The people were not in the least bureaucratic and were always quick to respond. Combined with their expertise and drive, this created ideal conditions for the conduct of the project. For us, having the privilege of working with FOI has been a highly rewarding and instructive experience, says Victor Kaznov, Chief Technology Officer, Rotundus AB
A reliable, intelligent and cost-effective unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) for the purpose of protecting people and important societal functions – that was the remit for the AURES project. FOI worked with the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Saab Aerotech and Rotundus AB to produce advanced algorithms which, among other applications, were used in the GroundBot robot which can be deployed for use in international operations or for civil surveillance tasks.
“In 2006 FMV announced a competition to produce a dual use system, that is to say a system that could be used for both civil and military purposes. On criterion for taking part in the competition was that the project group should consist of representatives from industry, higher education establishments and scientific institutes. Of more than 25 groups which applied, five were selected for funding and, of these five, ours was chosen as being the most promising at the end of the project. Among the results of this work was an extension of the functionality of the surveillance robot GroundBot which was developed by Rotundus.”
“We have carried out two projects in collaboration with Rotundus. The first concerned analysis and looked at a control system for GroundBot. The other is this joint project dealing with system functions for surveillance. The robot is envisaged as a replacement for security patrols, for example at airports, harbours, power stations, storage depots, national borders etc. In other words, a reliable and cost-effective means of protecting people and critical infrastructure.”
“The project focused on three main capabilities. Firstly, automatic positioning for continuous surveillance of an area to be guarded. Secondly, the ability to sweep a protected area in the shortest possible time. And thirdly, the ability to search and secure a designated area so that even intruders capable of moving about could be detected with certainty.”
“Rotundus AB and Saab Aerotech were responsible for the project hardware. We at FOI, together with KTH, developed the system’s intelligence, that is to say the advanced algorithms, programs and system support to provide high level control of where the robot is to go, the direction in which its sensors are to be pointed, the sequence in which it is to search a particular area, the coordination of multiple robots and so on.”
GroundBot has been awarded numerous prizes for innovation and the results of the project have been published in scientific journals and at conferences around the world.