As the first company to deliver robotic ground refueling solutions for aircraft and ground vehicles within the Department of Defense, Stratom is revolutionizing how our armed forces supply military vehicles with additional fuel.
Autonomous robotic refueling is an emerging robotics industry trend driving enhanced efficiencies across fleet management operations. As a leader on the cutting edge of the robotic refueling space, we are a go-to expert in designing, developing and building innovative solutions that synthesize sensory data with software controls to solve the most difficult and challenging logistics and operational challenges. Over the past few years, we have developed robotic refueling tools and technologies for a pair of automated refueling systems: an autonomous ground vehicle refueling (AGVR) prototype and an autonomous & robotic remote refueling point (AR3P) system.
The AGVR and AR3P robotic refueling solutions significantly increase project flexibility and cost-efficiency while also solving productivity and safety challenges. Each robotic refueling solution leverages vision sensing and detection systems to deliver unparalleled precision when locating the fuel port on the target vehicle and refilling high-volume containers that convey significant amounts of liquid from one location to another. Even better, whether managing vibration or various environmental conditions, such as dust, dirt, sand, rain and snow, our robotic refueling systems are equipped for any situation.
Currently designed to integrate onto a Palletized Load System (PLS) flat rack for autonomous convoy operations, the AGVR system includes a fuel tank, a generator, a robotic arm, sensor technologies and a stack of computer equipment — all of which is integrated into the Army’s Warfighter Machine Interface. The AR3P system, on the other hand, enables users in the armed forces to autonomously refuel several different helicopters and has been demonstrated on the Kaman K-MAX, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook and the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. The system has been designed to work in a “hot pit” refueling scenario, where the aircraft is being refueled while the engines are still running.
Since convoys are the preeminent target of enemies overseas, U.S. military forces are increasingly exploring autonomous vehicles as a way to reduce the number of soldiers needed for these operations. By empowering military personnel to focus on high-level, mission-oriented, decision-making tasks and not the supporting functions of those tasks, Stratom’s AGVR and AR3P robotic refueling solutions both improve project flexibility and increase cost-efficiency while also ameliorating problems associated with productivity and safety.
Traditionally, the refueling of fleet vehicles involves a handful of risks to the individuals working around the trucks and aircrafts, where there is the potential for fuel spillages, inefficiencies in the process and even personal safety issues undoubtedly exist. By utilizing robotic arms that remove the manual aspect of hooking up a fuel nozzle and hose to a truck or aircraft to refuel, the autonomous robotic refueling solutions we’re developing will increase optimization of efficiencies and an operation’s bottom line — not to mention significantly improving safety for the servicemen and servicewomen involved in the operation.
Our robotic refueling systems are not only more efficient and precise than their human counterparts, but they also keep people away from gas and hazardous fumes, have better control over spillage and empower human warfighters do what they do best by offloading monotonous and dangerous tasks that are better suited for an autonomous robot. From health and safety to improved resource allocation, operational efficiencies and improved impact on an operation’s bottom line, our AGVR and AR3P systems are impressive examples of how autonomy in logistics can streamline operations, optimize resources and alleviate risks.
As technologies continue to advance, we are looking forward to progressing our unique solutions and moving robotic refueling forward.