Spot Applications Will Multiply with MANET
Persistent Systems announced on 17 January that Boston Dynamics is to join its Wave Relay Ecosystem, an industry alliance of unmanned system and sensor producers all using the Wave Relay MANET (mobile ad-hoc network) as their preferred C3 network.
Under the agreement, Persistent will supply the MANET devices used on robots sold to defence, public safety, law enforcement and US federal government customers. “We believe that our MANET technology will provide [Boston Dynamics’] robots with a high-performance solution that is robust, reliable and scalable—and also enables interoperability with third-party unmanned and sensor platforms,” commented Jeremy Hickman, Director of Business Development for Persistent Systems.
Boston Dynamics noted it sees the agreement as a way of better positioning the company’s robotic quadruped Spot for industries requiring dedicated, secure communications networks in remote environments. “We see Spot, operating on a Persistent Systems MANET, being used in many different applications, including subterranean or confined space exploration, unexploded ordnance inspection, suspicious package investigation, hazardous gas detection, search and rescue, and structural inspection,” explained Kimberly Chamblin, Director of Partnerships, Public Sector, at Boston Dynamics.
In addition to MANET hardware being physically integrated with Boston Dynamics robots, robotic C2 software will be loaded onto Persistent Systems devices so that users can control them via the company’s Remote Display and Controller (RDC). “So, not only will you be able to stream sensor data collected by Spot, but you will also be able to control its movement with the RDC,” Hickman added. “This configuration both empowers the users and reduces the need for each unmanned system to have its own unique controller”.