Each of the military services have been developing robotic repair solutions that enhance maintenance effectiveness and improve the safety of our workforce. Examples include laser stripping robots, robotic paint applications, human augmentation systems, and the use of UAVs to inspect large aircraft. In recognition of the value of robotics to U.S. businesses, academia, and government, the DoD established in 2017 the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub as the eighth DoD-led institute. ARM will integrate the diverse collection of industry practices and institutional knowledge across many disciplines to realize the promises of a robust manufacturing innovation ecosystem that includes emerging DoD robotic technologies such as collaborative robotics, robot control (learning, adaptation, and repurposing), autonomous navigation and mobility, and testing, verification, and validation. This forum will discuss the ARM institute and several emerging automation technologies being implemented now in the DoD.
1300-1309: Welcome and Overview – Greg Kilchenstein (OSD-MPP)
1309-1310: Administrative Notes – Debbie Lilu (NCMS)
1310-1340: Joint Robotics Program Office – Mark Mazzara (Robotics Interoperability Lead; PM Force Projection)
1340-1400: Navy Robotics Initiative – Janice Bryant (NAVSEA)
1400-1420: Overarching DoD Perspective/Strategic Roadmap on Joint Automatic Test Systems (ATS) – Bill Ross (NAVY)
1420-1435: Automated Paint Removal at Hill AFB, Tinker AFB, and WRAFB – Rik Crowther (AFMC)
1435-1450: Automated Rotor Blade Stripping System (ARBSS) Update – Ben Thompson / Robert Kestler (FRC-E)
JTEG Forum Minutes
Event: On 24 April 2018, the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), in coordination with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), hosted a virtual forum on “Automation in Maintenance”.
Purpose: The purpose of this forum was to provide an overview of the promises of a robust manufacturing innovation ecosystem that includes emerging DoD robotic technologies such as collaborative robotics, robot control (learning, adaptation, and repurposing), autonomous navigation and mobility, and testing, verification, and validation.
Welcome: Ray Langlais (LMI) welcomed everyone to the forum, thanked the presenters and all the listeners for their attendance, and briefly previewed the agenda.
Administrative: This was an open forum. The presentations, along with questions and answers, were conducted through Adobe Connect. A separate audio line was used. Approximately 50 participants from across DOD and industry joined in the forum.
Joint Robotics Program Office – Mark Mazzara (Robotics Interoperability Lead; PM Force Projection) provided an overview of Army Ground Robotics. He described several programs in the portfolio to include the Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS), Common Robotic System Individual (CRS(I)), Enhanced Robotic Payloads, and autonomous truck demonstrations. He also discussed unique wireless communications Requirements and Potential Ground Robotics Applications for Maintenance & Sustainment.
Navy Robotics Initiative – Janice Bryant (NAVSEA) briefed a Navy Robotics Initiative for
Ship Assessment and Repair. An analysis of alternatives was completed in Nov 2017, and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard began leading the effort in Mar 2018. Wave one is a Hull Crawling System with a projected delivery date of 1 OCT 2018. Wave two is a Bilge Cleaning System with a projected delivery date of Jan 2019.
Overarching Perspective/Strategic Roadmap on Joint Automatic Test Systems (ATS) – Bill Ross (Navy) provided a brief on DoD Automatic Test Systems (ATS) Strategies beginning with the background and role. He described the two organizational elements: DoD ATS Management Board (AMB) and the Joint Services Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). He also described some key ATS accomplishments such as managing the ATS proliferation problem and designating DoD Standard ATS Families. Finally, Bill described the ATS way forward to include developing ATS tools based on the ATS Framework standards, and working to improve big data and data analytics functions.
Automated Paint Removal at Hill AFB, Tinker AFB, and WRAFB – Rik Crowther (AFMC) provided an update on the Robotic Laser Coating Removal System and compared Plastic Media Blast with the RLCRS process. He described RLCRS improvements, such as reducing the robotic time, and the planned use of RLCRS on future systems to include the C-130, increased F-16 workload at OO-ALC (F-35, F-22, A-10, off airframe components), the B-1 program, and the AMARG program.
Automated Rotor Blade Stripping System (ARBSS) Update – Ben Thompson (FRC-E) provided a review and update on the ARBSS used on V-22 and H-1 rotor blades at Cherry Point. He described several capability expansions involving new hardware and software subject to funding constraints.
Q&A – The combined Q&A session occurred after the last briefer was finished. For the actual questions and answers, see the JTEG NAVAIR/COMFRC Q&A document.
Closing Comments: Ray Langlais thanked the presenters for their contributions and the audience for their participation. He suggested continuing the information exchange beyond the forum and the importance of collaboration within the DoD maintenance community.
- All of the briefings are cleared for “public release” and are posted on the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/ .
Next JTEG Meeting: The next scheduled JTEG virtual forum is 29 May, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST. The topic is “Circuit Card Test and Repair”.
POC this action is Ray Langlais, firstname.lastname@example.org , (571) 633-8019
Joint Robotics Program Office – Mark Mazzara
Q1. How are these robotic systems sustained within the Army? CLS, organic assets, supply spt?
A1. Generally these are fielded under conditional material release and are maintained through CLS for the first 2 years. Training of organic assets is also provided. The maintenance cost drivers are primarily robotic arms and radios.
Q2. How to you get new robotic technology adopted?
A2. We have a Robotic Enhancement Program that has taken on over 64 RDT&E projects. The program receives $10M in funding and invites industry to send in proposals. Our motto is “Buy, Try, and Inform”.
Navy Robotics Initiative – Janice Bryant
Q1. Comment: The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is also a good forum for all things robotics.
Q2. Comment: There is an Industry Expo Apr 30-May 3, held annually for Commercial & Government Sessions/Solution providers
Q4. Does the vacuum hull robot platform have a name?
A4. I will have to refer to Jill Murphy at Portsmouth Naval Yard for that one.
Overarching Perspective/Strategic Roadmap on Joint Automatic Test Systems (ATS) – Bill Ross (Navy)
Q1. Where can we obtain more information on Joint ATS?
A1. Visit the DoD ATS Website at https://www.acq.osd.mil/log/mpp/ats.html
Automated Rotor Blade Stripping System (ARBSS) Update – Ben Thompson
Automated Paint Removal at Hill AFB, Tinker AFB, and WRAFB – Rik Crowther (AFMC)
01 JTEG – Auto in Maint 24 Apr – Intro
02 PM FP Robotics Overview (JTEG)
03 – NAVSEA Robotics Brief (JTEG)
04 – JTEG DoD ATS Initiatives April 2018 (vf)
05 JTEG – ARBSS FRC-E Ben
06 JTEG – USAF
07 JTEG – Auto in Maint 24 Apr – Final