infoTECH Feature

June 06, 2011

APlus Mobile's Processor Powers ERAU Unmanned Ground Vehicle

APlus Mobile, which designs, develops and manufactures DC-powered, open-architecture, x86 computer hardware solutions, announced it is sponsoring the Robotics Association at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).

The event will feature one of APlus Mobile’s high-performance, low-powered, sealed servers, which initially will be on-board the ERAU Reagle unmanned ground vehicle.

ERAU's Team Reagle will be participating at the 19th annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC), to be held June 3-6, 2011 at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. The competition is being hosted by the AUVSI Foundation and TARDEC, among others, company officials said.

The IGVC student competition is different from other robotic contests, say APlus officials. The competition demands significant, if not complete, autonomy from the participating vehicles, so they demand much more processing power on-board.

With high processing capabilities, the competing vehicles can make intelligent decisions on obstacle avoidance, task performance and environmental perception, all without human intervention, company officials said.

Reagle will feature APlus Mobile's B20 sealed server, housing an Intel (News - Alert) Core Two Extreme processor. The processor is used to run the vehicle’s sensors, navigation control system and other software components.

"We are expecting the B20 to perform flawlessly in this application. We are proud to sponsor ERAU's Team Reagle and hopefully we can enable them to win this competition," said Tim Faucett, VP of Product Development, in a statement.

Featuring a patented thermal design and power management, the vehicle meets the purpose of most ground robots including the ones at this competition. It performs the tasks in a dirty, dull and dangerous environment. B20 is also fanless and sealed from contaminants.

Earlier this year, APlus Mobile announced it had been granted its second Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with SPAWAR, the R&D division of the Navy.

Under the terms of the agreement, APlus Mobile will incorporate the Q40, its new sealed server, into a next generation robotic platform being developed by SPAWAR for all branches of the military, company officials said.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

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