Back in the depths of lockdown, whilst drinking some fine virtual red wine, a few of us at Valent had a splendid idea.
Would it be possible we pondered, to develop a system that would allow a standard EOD robot to do some of the things our kit can do when being used manually? Specialised CB robots have been discussed for a while but developing such a beast is expensive, guaranteed to be in the wrong place when needed and suffers from skill fade due to lack of use.
Why not simply create an end effector that could be fitted on-the-fly, to any standard EOD UGV that would then allow it to conduct a sealed drill into a CB target. The capability would be always available, operators would be fully trained on the equipment and the cost would be a fraction of a single specialist robotics system. What’s not to like!!
Well, thanks to the US DoD SPARK initiative we have received a bit of funding and as importantly a DoD sponsor to take this concept just a little further.
Early indications are that it is very possible indeed and we look forward to having the final result completed by the middle of this year. Watch this space…