Robotic Research Awarded SBIR Phase II Contract from DTRA
Robotic Research, LLC, a global leader in autonomous technology and solutions, announced today that it was awarded this summer a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).
As part of the two-year contract, Robotic Research will increase the capacity of its Pegasus Mini, the smallest of the company’s transforming drone/ground robot systems, which DTRA plans to incorporate into the Modular Autonomous Counter-WMD, Increment B (MACS-B) program.
Planned upgrades include changes to the airframe, battery, and computing and sensing capabilities.
"Early on, DTRA recognized how the warfighter could benefit from a hybrid unmanned system that both flies and drives. With their support, we created an initial Pegasus Mini prototype, and we now are advancing it further," said George McWilliams, Director of Advanced Programs at Robotic Research.
Pegasus Mini weighs just four pounds and is the size of a football when folded up and carried in a backpack. Deployed in the field, it can change back and forth between modes as required by the user and the environment. This gives it access to areas that might stymie a standard ground robot or drone.
"Pegasus Mini can fly into three-story windows. It can perch and stare. It can autonomously navigate, explore and map enemy tunnel systems," McWilliams said. "We see it as being a critical element in DTRA’s family of robotic systems as well as a powerful tool in the hands of other users."
The SBIR Phase II, which will include demonstrations in operationally relevant environments, is set to end in June 2023. After that, company officials say Pegasus Mini’s design will be further refined based on user feedback. In the meantime, Robotic Research’s Pegasus line of hybrid unmanned vehicles has garnered interest from allied countries, and Pegasus Mini has received industry accolades.
In May, it was nominated by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) as an XCELLENCE Award finalist.