Robotic Research Honored for WarLoc: The Warfighter’s Boot-Mounted GPS Alternative
Global autonomy and localization technology provider Robotic Research LLC received multiple honors at the recent 2020 Greater Washington Government Contractor (GovCon) Awards, a premier event that annually recognizes leaders of the government contracting community.
The company won the Contractor of the Year award for its financial and operational achievements as well as the Program of the Year award for their WarLoc product—a small localization device that can be attached to a warfighter or first responder’s foot to increase their safety in GPS-denied environments.
“We are deeply honored to be recognized by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Counsel for our success in delivering autonomy and localization technologies that have helped transform defense and transportation operations around the world,” said Robotics Research President Alberto Lacaze.
“It’s been an extremely busy and successful few years for us,” Lacaze continued. “We’ve expanded applications for our AutoDrive autonomy kit with defense customers and have used its past performance to broaden our work in the commercial sector. We introduced new products like Pegasus, our first-of-its-kind hybrid, transformable drone, to defense and commercial industries.”
Notably, he added, the award-winning product WarLoc—which calculates a user’s position to ensure visibility within the most hostile or GPS-denied environments—was successfully delivered to warfighters, even amidst the pandemic.
According to Robotic Research Senior Vice President Jim Frelk, WarLoc’s small boot-mounted sensor uses several miniaturized Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) accelerometers, gyroscopes and high-speed computing to determine a wearer’s location, and a radio that allows devices to transmit radio signals to one another.
“WarLoc is critical to warfighter safety because localization is key when it comes to knowing where you and your teammates are at, especially within an increased threat environment,” said Frelk. “It also enables manned and unmanned teaming with robotics systems that can take on the higher risk elements to keep warfighters safe.”
That teaming is possible through Prometheus AI, a collaborative system framework that improves accuracy and reliability of the system by sharing and combining localization solutions on the edge. According to Frelk, Prometheus AI is ubiquitous across Robotic Research’s comprehensive autonomous vehicle solutions, all of which are helping U.S. military forces better coordinate safe and effective operations and save lives.
While WarLoc has recently been deployed to active troops in various locations around the world, Robotic Research received its first orders for 700 units from the U.S. Army just last year. As the first commercialized order for product, it marked a key moment in the development of the technology that began back in 2006 through a Small Business Innovative Research contract with the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Center Armaments Center.
“It takes an amazing team as well as the support of highly collaborative customers and partners to make this quantity and speed of innovation possible,” said Lacaze. “We thank all of them for supporting our creative process, which has allowed us to solve critical challenges with new thinking and fresh approaches. I am proud of our employees for their endless support and commitment to our customers’ success.”
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