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The U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) has approved funding to purchase and deploy six wireless recharging systems for robots used to disarm roadside bombs.The REF has turned to a product developed by WiTricity Inc. that “will enable drive on/drive off charging” of the batteries that power Qinetiq’s Talon robots without requiring human intervention, according to the REF.By installing a power capture module under the Talon chassis, the robot can simply drive on to a “rapid deployment system” that determines the battery charge level and automatically charges the battery to maximum capacity. The REF says that it is deploying the technology “in response to requests from soldiers suffering from direct enemy fire while replacing batteries on Talon robots. The need to exit armored vehicles to replace batteries while en route in Afghanistan left troops vulnerable to attack and gunfire.”This technology is part of a broad effort by the Army and Marine Corps to decrease the reliance of their ground troops on bulky, cumbersome batteries they have to hump for miles on long combat patrols. The operational need has led to things like lightweight,foldable solar “blankets” and other portable, renewable technologies that are starting to find their way to the small, dusty combat outposts that dot Afghanistan.Pic: US Army
robot, afghanistan, army, ar99, ausa
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