The U.S. Marines has conducted charge employment training with advanced unmanned robotic platforms at Camp Hansen, in Okinawa (Japan).
According to the Marines officials, training taught Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians to confidently and safely neutralize an improvised explosive device using robotic platforms.
During the simulated scenarios, EOD technicians used the Mark II Talon EOD robot and the Endeavor Robotics 310 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle. The Marines mainly used the Mark II Talon to counter IEDs during the training due to the rough, muddy terrain.
The technicians sent out the Mark II Talon from their vehicle, controlling it with a remote Operator Control Unit. The Mark II Talon was then used to travel into the danger area, without the technicians having to physically walk through the area. After the robot traversed through the danger area, the technicians were able to follow along the tracks of the robot while sweeping for IEDs with a metal detector. They then retrieved the robot and returned it to the starting location.
The Marines combined everything they learned in recent training evolutions, said Sgt. Andrew Duggan, an EOD technician and training noncommissioned officer with EOD Co., 9th ESB. Duggan said the training ensures the Marines’ cohesion is sound and the teams understand each other during the simulated IED scenarios.
The Mark II Talon is a lightweight, unmanned, tracked military robot designed and built by Foster-MillerInc., doing business as QinetiQ Noth America.
Talon family of robots has earned a reputation for durability, flexibility, modularity and performance in keeping personnel, assets and civilians out of harm’s way.
In military, law enforcement and first responder applications, Talons are widely deployed for improvised explosive device (IED) and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), reconnaissance, communications, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive), HAZMAT, security, heavy lift, defense and rescue missions.
Talon robots have been in continuous, active military service since 2000 when they were successfully used in Bosnia for the safe movement and disposal of live grenades.
The 310 SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) is a man-portable robot manufactured by Endeavor Robotics.
SUGV enters areas that are inaccessible or too dangerous for people, providing situational awareness and state-of-the-art technology for infantry troops, combat engineers, EOD technicians and other personnel.
According to the company, the 310 SUGV can be deployed in a range of missions, including surveillance / reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), route clearance and vehicle and personnel inspection.