Provectus Robotics designed an intelligent, dynamic platform to enable autonomous vehicles to operate in even the roughest of terrain. Using the Smart Radio – External, they were able to build out a convoy of multiple vehicles, with only the lead car being driven by a person.
Initial testing has been with Ford pick up trucks on logging roads, but eventually they will scale up to large logging trucks and other convoys around the world, significantly increasing the efficiency of small teams to carry out big moves.
Here’s a video demonstration of two pick ups, the first being driven while the second autonomously following:
Due to the tough terrain, drivers need to be skilled to navigate the turns, uneven roads, etc. To successfully deploy an autonomous caravan requires a reliable datalink with virtually no latency. Using mesh allows multiple vehicles to overcome blind spots that would normally occur from dense foliage cutting off line of sight.
Developments of the autonomous convoy system using the Smart Radio – External started in the Spring of 2021. The team selected the Smart Radio External, RM-915-2J-XE as it provides a resilient, low latency network in a ruggedized enclosure.
Each vehicle is has a Smart Radio – External installed. The radios were set up to provide a mesh network connectivity to ensure a more resilient mobile network where line of sight is often impaired by the winding roads and obstruction of LOS in forested areas and tunnels. Using the smart routing capabilities of Mesh Rider, Doodle Lab’s proprietary technology, the radios are always connected via the most optimal data path.
Powered by the Mesh Rider’s low latency datalink, the driver of the lead vehicle has instant, real-time positional data of the two autonomously following vehicles. Using Provectus Robotics’ proprietary software, the driver can adjust the follow-on distances via a tablet, from 10 meters to as much as 500 meters gap between the vehicles, among other settings. The ability to configure the distance between the vehicles in the convoy, for example, helps the driver optimize performance and safety for the different parts of the journey.
“No one has complained about the radios yet. They’ve complained about everything else, but not the radios. So that’s a win” commented by Paul Rocco, co-founder and President of Provectus Robotics who personally oversees system integration, design, and product development.
During early evaluations, the Provectus evaluated the Smart Radios against competitor radios and selected the Smart Radio for its performance and price, to which Paul commented “it just makes more sense to use the Smart Radios.”
Doodle Labs is a global leader in long-range broadband communication used by the Industrial Internet of Things. Our products have been deployed by Fortune 100 companies in the most demanding environments on earth. Doodle Labs’ design philosophy is focused on achieving best-in-class performance while requiring minimal integration effort, thereby allowing customers to go to market faster with better performing products at a lower overall cost. www.doodlelabs.com
Provectus Robotics Solutions (PRS) are industry leaders in advanced robotic system design, integration and control. Located in Ottawa, ON, Canada, PRS delivers robotic control software and services to the aerospace, agricultural, industrial, mining, military and security industries. Since 2010, PRS has participated in design and development activities on many different robotic platforms, while delivering systems to customers world-wide. Our experience and mature technology base is why PRS is the preferred development partner for robotic system integrators all over the world. https://provectus-robotics.com/