Meet ‘RoMan,’ the Army Robot That Can Lift a Box or Pour Your Coffee



Autonomous vehicles that can only carry objects or shoot a weapon are so 2016.

Many companies are testing out unmanned ground vehicles with articulated arms that can grasp and move objects. Most of those systems rely on teleoperation to locate and grab, said Marshal Childers, a team leader with the Unmanned Systems Division of the Army Research Lab.

But RoMan, a small tracked unmanned vehicle built through collaboration with a number of industry and academic partners, does it on its own.

RoMan, short for “Robotic Manipulation,” works through mounted cameras that can map out a region and then enable the vehicle to locate an object.

“From start to finish, basically once it’s…



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