Clearpath Robotics Announces Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle

Unmanned Ground Vehicles don't get much more serious than this

2 min read
Clearpath Robotics Announces Grizzly Robotic Utility Vehicle

Yes, you are desperately in need of a monster robotic ATV. Meet the Grizzly, Clearpath Robotics' latest new toy serious research platform. It's big, it's scary, and if you get in its way, it'll crush you like a bug. Or, you know, like some puny little lesser unmanned ground robot.

Check it out:

Looks beastly, right? Clearpath definitely wasn't fooling around when they designed the Grizzly: it's got four high-torque motors, huge 26" tires, enough ground clearance to give a startled gopher ample headroom, and is perfectly happy to operate in environments where sneezes freeze solid. Need to haul 300kg of whatever you want? No problem, the Grizzly can handle that. Twice over. The robot can also provide your on-board systems with more power than you can shake a well-grounded stick at (48V at 400Ah, to be exact). Here are some detailed specs:

As you can see, it runs ROS, and includes high precision wheel encoders, onboard current and voltage sensors, IMU, GPS, and pretty much whatever else you could possibly want to slap on there. It comes with plenty of demos and tutorials as well, to get you up and running as fast as possible.

Clearpath is also well known for their Husky UGV, so we made sure to ask them what makes the Grizzly different (i.e. more awesome):

It's a category defining Robotic Utility Vehicle. It has a hitch interface to connect with standard utility vehicle implements. Designed for heavy work for long periods of time in difficult terrains, it's almost like a tractor with the precision of a robot.

For the record, this makes two major product releases in less than six months for Clearpath, the first being the Kingfisher M200. Not bad, guys. And we're definitely looking forward to seeing lots of footage of Grizzlies beating up on other robots to start showing up on YouTube sometime soon.

[ Clearpath Robotics Grizzly ]

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Robot with threads near a fallen branch

RoMan, the Army Research Laboratory's robotic manipulator, considers the best way to grasp and move a tree branch at the Adelphi Laboratory Center, in Maryland.

Evan Ackerman

This article is part of our special report on AI, “The Great AI Reckoning.

"I should probably not be standing this close," I think to myself, as the robot slowly approaches a large tree branch on the floor in front of me. It's not the size of the branch that makes me nervous—it's that the robot is operating autonomously, and that while I know what it's supposed to do, I'm not entirely sure what it will do. If everything works the way the roboticists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, Md., expect, the robot will identify the branch, grasp it, and drag it out of the way. These folks know what they're doing, but I've spent enough time around robots that I take a small step backwards anyway.

The robot, named RoMan, for Robotic Manipulator, is about the size of a large lawn mower, with a tracked base that helps it handle most kinds of terrain. At the front, it has a squat torso equipped with cameras and depth sensors, as well as a pair of arms that were harvested from a prototype disaster-response robot originally developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a DARPA robotics competition. RoMan's job today is roadway clearing, a multistep task that ARL wants the robot to complete as autonomously as possible. Instead of instructing the robot to grasp specific objects in specific ways and move them to specific places, the operators tell RoMan to "go clear a path." It's then up to the robot to make all the decisions necessary to achieve that objective.

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