C4I Center Seminar Series:
Using Battle Management Language with Robotic Systems

Guest speaker, Thomas Remmersmann
of Fraunhofer FKIE in Wachtberg, Germany presents
“Using Battle Management Language with Robotic Systems”

Bolstering up a military unit, e.g., an infantry platoon on a recce mission, by robots often is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, robots are able to support soldiers in multiple ways: they can transport bulky equipment, enter risky spots, and provide sensors to detect dangers of all kinds. On the other hand, robots need to be equipped with energy sources that are cumbersome by themselves. In addition, the robots must be commanded. The necessity for a team of heterogeneous robots, e.g., UAVs as well as UGVs all with different sensors and specific abilities, even adds to that strain.

Our research aims at simplifying commanding teams of heterogeneous robots. In order to achieve this aim, we use the standards BML (Battle Management Language) and ROS (Robot Operating System). BML is used since our approach is from the language point of view very similar to commanding simulated units. Thus, we use language constructions modeled on those developed by NATO research groups on BML, NATO MSG-048 and NATO MSG-085. Currently, we are testing to use one single mobile GUI, also modeled on our NATO research groups’ results. That GUI is implemented on a tablet. We evaluated this approach by commanding a team of six heterogeneous robots.

This seminar presents our solutions about the following essential topics. First, the robots have to introduce themselves by communicating their current abilities and their status. Second, the commander commands the robot team in a mission command style. Thus, third, the robot team needs a kind of intelligence that calculates sub tasks out of a given command and distributes these sub tasks to the team members taking the members’ specific abilities into account. Fourth, the robot team has to fuse sensor data in order to directly contribute to the operational picture.

Thomas Remmersmann,Tho M.Sc. is a Scientific Employee and Software Engineer with Fraunhofer FKIE in Wachtberg, Germany. He has several years of experience with building and evaluating C2 interfaces with the use of the Battle Management Language to interact with simulation systems and robotic forces. His current work focuses on allowing commanding and controlling multiple robots by a single user over mobile devices with the use of BML, robot autonomy, scheduling with genetic algorithms and data fusion.

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1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

C4I Center ENGR 4705