US: iRobot has developed a new universal control system for its unmanned vehicles, which are used by armed forces, first responders and industrial customers worldwide. Made up of an android-based controller and the uPoint Robot Radio, the uPoint multi-robot control (MRC) system is designed to simplify robot operations, including driving, manipulation and inspection, enabling operators to focus more on the mission.
Compatible with a range of consumer Android-based touchscreen tablets, the system features a virtual joystick, which allows users to touch and drag anywhere on the main video feed to steer the robot, and predictive drive lines to guide operators through tight spots. Integrated with autonomous driving modes, including vector drive to hold a desired heading, and video recording capability, the system simplifies manipulation with direct control of the arm on a virtual model, and allows for data sharing from the operator's controller to other team members or remote observers.
The system is capable of consulting reference materials, checking email and using other non-robot related mission apps from the Android device, and has enhanced sustainment due to remote software updates, embedded training tutorials and built-in maintenance functions.