Released under the GIC Framework
QinetiQ North America announced today that it has been awarded a two-year, $2 million contract by the U.S. Marine Corps to develop a universal wearable controller to operate a wide variety of unmanned systems, including Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), and Unattended Ground Sensors (UGSs).
The Marine Corps uses many types of unmanned systems in combat today, but none of these platforms use the same controller. Marines operating these platforms must contend with unique controllers for each type of system made by various vendors. The Common Robotic Controller (CRC) resulting from this contract will enable Marines operating unmanned systems to use a single type controller for varied platforms regardless of manufacturer. The introduction of this common controller will simplify user training, reduce operator work load and combat load weight, simplify maintenance, and lessen overall system procurement and repair costs.
The Common Robotic Controller will not only be lightweight, but will be designed to coexist with the other items of equipment that Marines must wear and carry. The project will include development of a wearable, integrated set of components including a robust, miniature computer system able to support all the necessary platform software requirements, a reliable power source, a user-friendly touch-sensitive display, a gaming style input device, and much more.
“We welcome this opportunity to work on such an important development project for the U.S. Marines,” said Dr. William Ribich, president of the QinetiQ North America Technology Solutions Group. “We look forward to providing our Marines and coalition forces with a rugged, reliable controller that they can wear with confidence in its ability to perform as required. We greatly appreciate what they are asked to do in combat and are both excited and focused to deliver a system that will not only make their control of these unmanned systems easier, but will also reduce the Marine’s combat load while increasing their safety and situational awareness.”