The group is recognized for breakthrough innovations in developing and disseminating more than 30 performance tests to quantitatively measure and compare ground robot capabilities for extremely hazardous missions. Robot manufacturers and researchers use these test methods to drive design innovations and highlight best-in-class capabilities. A key realization was that while the tests are incredibly valuable for making informed purchases of robotic technologies, they are also extremely useful for focusing training efforts and evaluating operator proficiency. Use of the test methods and associated international standards has led to significant improvements in response capabilities and in keeping emergency responders out of harm’s way when neutralizing hazardous situations.
The group also received the Ron Brown Excellence in Innovation Award for this work.