Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory

The Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory provides an environment for developing and evaluating intelligent software for both actual and simulated autonomous vehicles. Laboratory computers provide a simulated environment for testing intelligent algorithms for land, air, and sea vehicles. The laboratory’s several types of indoor and outdoor robot platforms serve as a testbed for robotics applications. The mobile robots are also available as test platforms for sensors, interfaces, and other technologies being developed by groups within NRL.

The robot laboratory is a 1338 ft2 facility that allows space for indoor operation of mobile robots and can be configured with obstacles or furniture to simulate expected working environments. A large research support vehicle adds the ability to transport mobile robots to offsite or outdoor worksites, provides its own power, and includes computer workstations for work in the field. The facility maintains over 20 various mobile robots (ground and air) widely used in the robotics community, enabling the integration of outside research from other government, academic, and industry laboratories. Researchers can assemble homogeneous or heterogeneous robotic teams for use in indoor or outdoor environments.

Audio Laboratory

The Audio Laboratory has facilities for rendering and analyzing complex sound for military applications. Our rendering systems include a 28 speaker array arranged in 5 rings within a space that is deadened by 16 RPG Diffuser VariScreens. This lets us produce realistic audio environments using pre-recorded or synthesized sound. The rendering system typically uses a three-speaker panning algorithm developed by Ville Pulki called Vector-base amplitude panning. The lab also includes a 100ft2 double walled booth from Industrial Acoustics Company for experiments that need high levels of acoustic isolation. The lab includes wireless transmitters and receivers including a prototype battlefield acoustic sensor that uses binaural microphones arranged in a head-like, throwable device. We have a prototype in-helmet rendering system that enables a soldier to hear spatial sound without having ear-occluding headsets. The analysis capabilities include a B&K pulse system and a B&K head and torso simulator. Computer equipment includes 2 SGI Octane, one with 32 I/O channels, and 2 Crystal River Acoustetrons. The software includes the Virtual Audio Server developed by Hesham Fouad as his Ph.D. from George Washington University, and CATT Acoustic modeling software. Audio equipment includes two 16-channel mixers, two 32-channel graphical equalizers, 3 DAT recorders, 8 Sennheiser microphones and several Sennheiser and Sony headphones.

Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research

NCARAI has a number of projects that utilize NRL's new Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research, which provides specialized facilities to support highly innovative, multidisciplinary research in autonomous systems, including intelligent autonomy, sensor systems, power and energy systems, human-system interaction, networking and communications, and platforms. The Laboratory capitalizes on the broad multidisciplinary character of NRL, bringing together scientists and engineers with disparate training and backgrounds to attack common goals in autonomous systems at the intersection of their respective fields. The Laboratory provides unique facilities and simulated environments (littoral, desert, tropical) and instrumented reconfigurable high bay spaces to support integration of science and technology components into research prototype systems. The objective of the Laboratory is to enable Navy and DoD scientific leadership in this complex, emerging area and to identify opportunities for advances in future defense technology. Housed in the facility is one of the largest motion capture spaces in existence (150'x75'x28'), able to track 50 objects with sub-milimeter and 0.1 degree accuracy at a minimum of 150hz. Here is a link to find more information on the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research.