14 Nov 2016
TerraSmart's robotic vehicle, APSR, is powered with a gas/electric hybrid drive system, allowing it to run 24/7 if required. It is designed for all-terrain use with "slope awareness" for undulating sites, and includes a geometric passive articulation suspension system, 24-inch tires with a 10-inch ground clearance, and travels at a maximum speed of 11 mph with a maximum incline of 45 °. APSR operates using line-of-sight wireless control, as well as Real Time Kinematics (RTK) GPS that increases its precision, accuracy, and speed. Version two of APSR, coming in the first quarter of 2017, will be able to survey and drill holes with a two-inch diameter and a maximum depth of 20 feet within a half-inch tolerance. The engineering team loads coordinate files onto an Android tablet, making them accessible to the APSR operator to create "missions" for each project site. APSR's operator can prioritize work by site conditions and can save and replay missions at any time. Once the operator provides the commands, APSR will survey each programmed location. A four-level safety system is built into the autonomous vehicle that can stop the rover in its tracks up to a half-mile away. The operator can also hit a kill switch on his belt; there is a power-down command on the companion Android tablet, and APSR shuts itself down if it tips over or if it travels outside of its operating area.
TerraSmart | www.terrasmart.com