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The Intelligent Systems & Robotics Center at Sandia National Laboratories. Mark L. Swinson, Ph.D., P.E. Deputy Director [email protected] For more information: Intelligent Systems & Robotics Center. Steve Roehrig, Director.

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The intelligent systems robotics center at sandia national laboratories l.jpg

The Intelligent Systems & Robotics Centerat Sandia National Laboratories

Mark L. Swinson, Ph.D., P.E.

Deputy Director

[email protected]

For more information:

Intelligent systems robotics center l.jpg
Intelligent Systems & Robotics Center

Steve Roehrig, Director

Current funding level: ~$30M Heavy labs: 12

Technical Staff: ~70 Light labs: 29

Number of robots: ~60 Total labs: 41

A “Research-Development-Application” Organization

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Where did we start

have in common?

  • Process as lot size of one

  • Amortization issues

  • Strict process constraints: quality, safety

  • Sandia’s Intelligent Systems & Robotics Center

Nuclear Weapons

Legacy Munitions

Stealth Fighters



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Stage Right, storage and monitoring of retired pits, hot operation in 1996

Automated disassembly of explosive gas generators, hot operation in 1997

Pit Weigh and Leak Check System, awaiting completion of Readiness Review.

Thermal Spray Inspection Station, areal desisty measurements of applied materials, 2 operational in NGPF

Automated Particulate Removal System, reduces operator exposure during cleaning, operational at NGPF 2/01.

Canout, Automated SNM packing and processing for removal from glovebox, cold operation at LANL

Robocal, Automated NDA, Readiness Review @ LANL complete

Strategic Reserve Stage Right, storage and monitoring of stockpile pits, deployment @ Pantex in FY01

Surveillance and Monitoring Robot, provide remote near-human presence

Microassembly, research, develop and apply technologies for LIGA and MEMS component assembly

Laser Engineered Net Shaping, develop full 3-D capability

Safe Secure Storage, integrate micro-engineered sensors, automation, and command and control

First-time-right components, integrate virtual design and manufacturing process prototyping

DOE Defense Programs



Automated Thermal Spray Station, increase process quality and coating uniformity, operational @ NGPF in 7/01

Over Time,in the Future

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Desired End State operation in 1996

Process Model



Part Model

Program Out

Robot Model

Workcell Model

Process Constants

(outside factors)

Time, throughput, cost,staffing, . . .

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DoD Non-warfighting operation in 1996


F-117 Robotic Coating System

Customer: Air Force F-117 SPO

Developed & deployed cost-effective robotic system to apply stealth coating for 50 aircraft fleet

Demilitarization Hazardous Operation Risk Reduction

Customer: Army DAC

Demonstrated automated disassembly of inert 40mm munitions at Army ammunition plant

CVX Trade-off Studies

Customer: Navy CVX PM/LM Moorstown

Recommend manning reduction opportunities for new aircraft carrier under design


F-22 Robotic Coating Upgrades

Customer: Lockheed Martin, Marietta

Developing & implementing hardware & control improvements to existing robotic coating system

Smart Crane

Customer: Navy NSWC

Demonstrating swing-free ship off-loading with sea-state compensation on Navy transport ship

155 mm Automated Disassembly

Customer: Army DAC

Developing automated system to disassemble projectiles containing grenade & antipersonnel mine submunitions

Over Time, in the Future

B-2 Robotic Coating System

Customer: Air Force B-2 SPO/Northrop Grumman

Develop & deploy cost-effective automated coating system for 20 aircraft fleet

Advanced Logistical Support Operations

Developing intelligent autonomous robot technologies to transport supplies from warehouses to aircraft

LM/SNL Shared Vision project

Developing automated assembly / disassembly & human motion planner for aircraft logistics & maintenance operations

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DoD Warfighting and NP&MC operation in 1996


US Special Forces Command Reconnaissance

US Marine Corp Distributed Site Protection


Source Detection and Isolation


Ruggedized Robots for Highspeed Deployment

Over Time, in the Future


Advanced Mobility for Minefield Maintenance

US Marine Corp

Sensor Delivery for Ship-to-Objective Maneuver

US Army

Future Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle

Micro-robots will be broadly useful, and will motivate many Sandia tech base elements

  • The future things should include examples in which a) we will be selling to a customer, b) we will support someone in their sales to a customer, and/or c) we intend to team with industry teaming with industry

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Rotate operation in 1996




We Developed Umbra to Study Diverse Systems Issues

Network-Centric Systems

Robotic Vehicles

Behavior & Controls

  • Umbra is a systems analysis tool

    • Developed for robotics, Umbra’s capabilities go beyond robotics problems.

      • Umbra was designed for complex systems analysis because robotics questions are inherently “between grid” questions.

  • Umbra brings together disjointed analytical tools

    • Supports rapid integration of NLT Technologies

      • C4ISR, Human modeling, Terrain analysis, Genetic algorithms …

    • Interfaced with Army’s Joint Virtual Battlespace

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Umbra was Developed operation in 1996For and By Systems Engineers

  • Directly expresses systems engineering ideas

    • Physics-based models

    • Components modeled with transfer functions

    • Events & non-linear interactions supported

  • Multiple Worlds

    • Lets agents work together as collections and communicate in non-linear ways

    • Flexibly combines simulation, control & other elements

    • Enables Umbra’s flexible HLA implementation

Dynamic Run-Time Environment Supports what-if analysis

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Partnerships operation in 1996




Lund Boat


Develop sensors and cutters in a fat trimming machine

Proprietary design and manufacturing tools

Design of automation for boat manufacture

Constraint-based interactive assembly analysis and planning software tool

Litton-Ingalls Shipyard

MicroDexterity Systems




Automatic generation of weld path trajectories

Automated assembly of automatic transmission assemblies

Design and manufacture cushion that mitigates pressure sores

Established products for manufacture and distribution

Seattle Orthopedic Group

And into the Future

Active Sketch (patent pending)

Master-slave manipulator for teleoperation (patents issued)

  • Joint Ventures with private firms e.g:

    • • Equipment teleoperation

    • • SwingFree cranes

    • • Networkable robots

    • • Flexible manufacturing

Integration of multiple prosthetic devices into a single system

IED Robotics control and manipulators

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