Carnegie Mellon University

EOD Robot Operator Assist

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Robot Operator Assist gives EOD robots the ability to navigate intelligently to their targets. Operators can click on a target and the robot plans a route to that location. The robot then drives itself along the planned route, keeping the operator aware and able to take control while the robot is driving.

EOD work is hard and hazardous, even with robots on the job. Soldiers who operate EOD robots need to be aware of the robot’s surroundings and must be constantly on alert for anything out of the ordinary. If they cannot get a good initial look at the area where the robot is supposed to work, they will need to drive the robot around to inspect it – a far more time-consuming proposition.

EOD Robot Operator Assist helps operators survey the robot’s surroundings.  A ring of miniaturized video cameras provides a full, panoramic view around the robot.  A camera and laser range finder mounted on a pan/tilt/zoom platform allow operators to focus quickly on objects of interest.

EOD Robot Operator Assist enhances the operator’s view of the robot’s environment by adding a panoramic camera, a video camera mounted on a pan/tilt/zoom platform, and range information. In addition, it provides semi-autonomous driving and navigation assistance. These improvements make EOD robots easier to teleoperate, lower operator workloads, and free operators to focus on reconnaissance and other mission-related tasks.

The EOD Robot Operator Assist sensor suite includes:

  • A miniaturized camera and laser range finder mounted on a pan/tilt/zoom platform on top of the EOD robot.
  • A miniaturized ring of video cameras to give operators a full, 360° panoramic view of the robot’s surroundings.
  • A small nodding LADAR sensor mounted on the front of the robot for obstacle detection.

Operator Interface
A touch-screen user interface displays images from the pan/tilt/zoom camera and panoramic cameras.  Additionally, it shows the robot’s speed, heading, and other useful information. The interface also supports “click and go” autonomous operation.

Autonomy System
“Click and go” autonomy assists operators with driving and navigating the robot to a target.   Essentially, the robot takes over the most tedious and tiring parts of this task.


NREC's EOD Robot Operator Assist interface.
Operators using NREC's EOD Robot Operator Assist application.
Operators using NREC's EOD Robot Operator Assist application.