In 2020, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute hosted and participated in the Joint Summit: Robotics in Sustainment II (JROBOT) event. The four-day summit brought together experts across government and the armed services to develop and recommend Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) policies for coordinating and expanding the use of industrial robotics in sustainment activities across all military branches.
Prior to the event, ARM consortium members were invited to submit projects for funding in support of the DoD’s sustainment goals through the ARM 19-04 Technology Project Call, which opened in late 2019. From there, a competitive group of project teams were invited to present their project proposals in-person at the Joint Summit.
The projects help to meet the Department of Defense sustainment needs, which focus on the maintenance and repair of military assets over their lifetime. Spurring robotics technology and workforce solutions is critical to maintaining military equipment, lowering the cost of repairing assets, and training the staff needed to complete this important work.
Robotic applications excel at completing pre-determined tasks, but typically lack the ability to adapt or change the process sequence autonomously. This project focuses on a multi-head robotic solution that will enable on-site reclamation/surface preparation of parts through autonomous path generation, tool selection, and process sequencing. The advancements from this project address technical challenges, increase human safety, and lower the cost associated with preparing large defense/commercial parts that cannot be transported to a factory setting without significant downtime and cost.