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Autonomous Robotics Programs

Mobile Detection Assessment and Response System (MDARS)

MDARS, a program of the Army’s JPEO-CBD – PM Force Protection Systems, is a small and nimble robotic patrol force on wheels designed to relieve personnel of the repetitive and sometimes dangerous task of patrolling exterior areas that require some level of security. General Dynamics Robotic Systems (GDRS) has been developing the MDARS concept since 1993.

The MDARS robot is designed to perform random patrols around Department of Defense warehouses, airfields, ammunition supply depots, and port facilities. It detects intruders and determines the status of inventory, barriers, and locks.

Early User Appraisal (EUA) activities for MDARS have been ongoing at Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD) in Hawthorne, NV since August 2004. MDARS has been in limited use by the civilian operator guard force at HWAD since October 2004.

MDARS features:

  • Completes autonomous, random patrol missions as scheduled, or can be remotely operated by joystick
  • Attains speeds of up to 20 mph
  • Diesel fueled, MDARS can run for 16 hours without refueling
  • Detects intruders at 200 meters
  • Detects breached security locks
  • Monitors Radio-Frequency (RF) tagged inventory
  • Control station allows the operator to manage up to 16 MDARS vehicles simultaneously
  • Equipped with real-time obstacle-avoidance systems and 360-degree sensors
  • Distributed control system
  • Communications network of relay/repeaters installed on the ground provides redundant RF coverage of the entire patrol area
  • GDRS Manager:

    Program Sponsor: JPEO-CBD - PM Force Protection Systems


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