The two service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses are collaborating on an SBIR Phase 2 contract to enable a faster and safer palletized load system truck-to-trailer connection
BOULDER, Colo. — Jan. 11, 2023 — Stratom, a leading developer of autonomous ground vehicles and robotic systems for logistics and operational applications, is partnered with TeleSwivel, a leader in articulating hitch products and vehicles, to develop a fully autonomous articulated hitch control system as part of the Army’s Autonomous Transport Vehicle program (formerly Expedient Leader-Follower).
“Convoys of the future demand automation of the truck-trailer connection to minimize risk and ameliorate situations where soldiers have to lift heavy trailer tongues or get between a moving PLS truck and its trailer to complete the connection,” said Ryan DelGizzi, Stratom’s director of engineering. “Leveraging our unique experience with developing an autonomous fueling system for the Expedient Leader-Follower platform, TeleSwivel partnered with our team to help transition from a power articulated hitch controlled by a ground guide to a fully autonomous hitch control. This application is the perfect fit for our expertise as we continue to support the Army’s continued momentum into the world of autonomy.”
The autonomous hitch system transforms the standard pintle hitch and trailer lunette connection to enable the use of trucks and trailers in autonomous ground resupply sustainment operations. The result is significantly improved versatility, increased speed and reduced soldier risk. Together, Stratom and TeleSwivel are focused on delivering autonomous technology as a key enabler in the Army’s Autonomous Ground Resupply system.
TeleSwivel chose Stratom to help identify autonomous hitch operation control inputs and outputs, determine the optimal control points between kits and systems and define the communication interface required to command the hitch throughout its full geometrical capture range. Stratom is also assisting with sensor and camera selection to autonomously identify the position of the trailer and operate the hitch without human intervention.
“The Army’s current equipment for towing tactical trailers is more than 80 years old. This outdated technology, combined with adverse conditions, makes connecting a PLS truck to its trailer a time-consuming, dangerous — and even deadly — task for soldiers. The risk that legacy hitches pose to soldiers today will be much greater on future Multi-Domain battlefields where mobility will be essential for survival,” said Dave Woolf, TeleSwivel’s President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Stratom team to deliver an autonomous hitch system that will not only make the use of PLS trailers possible in AGR operations but, when fielded on future Common Tactical Truck systems, will also enhance speed of movement for any operation involving trailers.”
For more information about how Stratom empowers organizations with innovative autonomous technologies and solutions for any environment, visit stratom.com.
Stratom is a global leader in the development of autonomous ground vehicles and robotic systems that solve the most pressing real-world logistics and operational challenges for commercial and defense applications. Specializing in autonomous cargo movement, robotic refueling, robotic hazardous liquid transfer and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), the company’s military-proven tools, methods, technologies and strategic services solve the most difficult logistics and operational challenges. Whether in safe, controlled settings or dynamic and challenging terrain, Stratom provides unique solutions to meet each customer’s specific needs. With its extensive expertise in R&D, engineering and system integration of autonomous technologies and solutions, Stratom, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, is the go-to expert for global corporations, local businesses and government institutions. To learn more, visit www.stratom.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
TeleSwivel LLC is the developer of the TeleSwivel Power Hitch for medium and heavy vehicles and the autonomous hitch system for the Army’s Autonomous Ground Resupply Program. TeleSwivel’s distribution business delivers leading technologies to fleet and facilities customers to enhance safety and sustainability and improve energy resilience. TeleSwivel is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and a GSA Multiple Award Schedule contract holder.