While recently working with CSIRO’s DATA 61 team in their preparation for the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenge in the US, BIA5’s ATR (All Terrain Robot) caught the eye of NASA engineers at the same event.

Shawn Tansley, BIA5 Managing Director, said all competing robots had to complete a series of missions and report back once they had autonomously navigated through underground tunnels and cave systems. Each team is only allowed a single human in the loop and heavily relies on the robots ability to perform without human intervention. This DARPA challenge is not only pushing the limits of AI but also the design and modern engineering concepts of applied robotic platforms.

‘OzBot ATR’s ability to reliably move through complex and rugged terrain resulted in the NASA JPL team travelling to Australia to meet with the BIA5 team to secure the use of an OzBot ATR in the
next round of the DARPA challenge. We are extremely proud of the work we did with Deakin University on the initial OzBot designs. BIA5 have been able to improve on these and see the technology being applied in real world situations. To be attracting the attention of world leading organisations, JPL and CSIRO, is rewarding and at the same time, humbling’ said Mr Tansley.

Fast forward a few months and BIA5 Research Director, Justin Mallory, not only delivered an OzBot to engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) in Pasadena, California, but he also revealed
the OzBot’s class leading capability to climb stairs! And climb them at speed!

After conquering multiple flights of stairs and blazing all over the ‘Mars Sandpit’, NASA’s JPL team is continuing to work with BIA5 to leverage maximum advantage of the OzBot’s superior all terrain performance and launch ahead of the competition in the next round of the DARPA challenge in February 2020.

The video and stills below show the NASA engineers putting the BIA5 ATR through its paces. Find out more at BIA5.COM