The Maryland-based self-driving technology manufacturer said Thursday the award could potentially lead to follow-on contracts for development of a maximum of 100 unmanned vehicles that can support operations in DLA’s 570 warehouses.
The agency requires the vehicle to tow 18,000-pound loads, climb steep slopes and move around tight corners. The AGV should also function even without a GPS, safely operate around people and vehicles and withstand weather changes that cause road challenges.
Robotic Research plans to use the Stock Handling Autonomous Robotic Kit to meet DLA requirements such as the AGV’s continuous operation even in GPS-denied locations. SHARK has an artificial intelligence model and sensor systems, and can be integrated with commercial towing vehicles.
“Localization and people-avoidance are core AGV requirements. These capabilities, plus our experience with all-weather ‘edge cases,’ will be a tremendous asset to the DLA and others,” said Alberto Lacaze, cofounder and president of Robotic Research.
He added that the agency could save costs and enhance tha safety and efficiency of its operations through the use of an unmanned tow vehicle.