New way for robots to exchange messages developed by ArmyNews
September 04, 2019
ADELPHI, Md. Scientists at the U.S. Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory developed an approach to improve the communications range and allowing for covert behavior using a team of robots for future U.S. Army multi-domain operations.
The researchers proposed and demonstrated an approach for enabling targeted wireless communication by exploiting miniature antennas and coordination of intelligent ground robots — each of which has a mounted antenna.
According to researchers, at lower frequencies, existing electrically small antennas (ESAs) are inefficient and other conventional designs can be large, limiting their application for low-power, mobile robotic networking. These ESAs radiate in nearly all directions due to their small aperture, which researchers say is undesirable since this makes the transmitted signal easily detectable.
The new approach consisted of an ensemble of small, low-power ground robots that coordinate and adaptively re-configure their locations and antenna element sizes to create a re-configurable parasitic array, which are less complex being that the various nodes don't need to be calibrated. The resulting design provides similar performance as the free-space case.