The Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) features a modular open systems architecture that enables the robot to be self-righting after a fall. The self-righting ability is extended to robots with a greater number of degrees of freedom (joints).

The Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System Increment 1 Platform was used to demonstrate the self-righting ability. (Courtesy Northrop Grumman Corporation)

The software looks at all possible geometries and orientations that the robot could find itself in. Each additional joint adds a dimension to the search space. This analysis was made possible by the Range Adversarial Planning Tool (RAPT), a software framework for testing autonomous and robotic systems.

An adaptive sampling algorithm looks for transitions — states in which the robot could transition from a stable configuration to an unstable one, thus causing the robot to tip over. The software effectively predicts where those transitions might be so the space can be searched efficiently.

The AEODRS’s eight degrees of freedom were analyzed and it was determined that it can right itself on level ground no matter what initial state it finds itself in. The analysis also generates motion plans showing how the robot can reorient itself.

For more information, contact the ARL Public Affairs Office at 301-394-3590.