Northrop Grumman Corporation has featured its recently-launched Andros FX unmanned ground vehicle at the DSEI exhibition in London. The firm’s subsidiary Remotec Inc. designed Andros FX to defeat a wide range of threats including vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.
The most visible features of the Andros FX are the four track pods that replace the traditional Andros articulators, and a new arm design that provides more lift capacity and greater dexterity by adding roll joints that provide nine degrees of freedom. It also features updated system electronics, mobility improvements for increased speed and maneuverability, and a new touchscreen operator control unit with 3-D system graphics, advanced manipulator controls and improved user interface.
“The feedback we have received from EOD teams has indicated what they need most are more capabilities to counter vehicle-borne IEDs,” said Walt Werner, director, Northrop Grumman Remotec. “Andros FX has been designed from the ground up, to meet these requirements and provides the most advanced technology while at the same time making the system easier to use and maintain, and keeping danger at a distance.”
The Andros FX builds on Remotec’s F6 family and its 20-year record as a workhorse for first responders and the military. Like other robots in Remotec’s Andros fleet, its operating system provides much greater information to the operator while easing user workload through more interactivity with intelligent payloads such as chemical and radiation sensors. Preset arm positions and the ability to “fly the gripper” make manipulation of objects much easier, faster and more accurate.
Andros FX was designed using a proven concurrent engineering process, using cross-functional involvement early in the design phase thus resulting in a much lower lifecycle cost, as well as a product that can be quickly adapted for a variety of missions, easily upgraded and expanded, and more efficiently maintained.