On 22 September Spanish unmanned systems specialist, aunav (an everis Aerospace, Defence & Security Business) launched the aunav.NEO, the only explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot in the world with variable geometry. The technology allows the robot to adjust its width during a mission to suit prevailing conditions and circumstances – as, for instance, the need to negotiate narrow hallways or the aisles of a passenger aircraft.
The robot was developed and manufactured at aunav’s facilities in Huesca, aimed specifically at the needs of security and armed forces as a versatile system, capable of operating in challenging situations – most notably in areas difficult to access. This makes it uniquely prepared to neutralise improvised explosives, ammunition or CBRN threats in tight spaces, such as plane, bus or subway aisles or underground tunnels, as well as performing well in open terrain.
Pablo Vázquez, aunav General Director of aunav points out that “the engineering involved in this project, is added to 17 years of experience in the field of robotics for explosives deactivation, and gives us the edge and the knowledge to incorporate unique technologies in the sector. We can therefore truly say that because of its versatility, the aunav.NEO fuses several robots into one […] Maintaining the characteristically robust reliability of all our products, the aunav.NEO is also the lightest robot in our catalogue and incorporates state-of-the-art technology […] The objective of aunav is to provide security and armed forces with cutting-edge solutions so that they can safely approach high-risk situations with the maximum guarantee of success.”
The variable geometry system is one of the device’s most remarkable innovations. The robot uses it to quickly and remotely increase or decrease its width, allowing it to operate in multiple scenarios within a single mission. This is complemented by its self-stabilisation capability, remaining always in a horizontal position in relation to the ground and unaffected by stairs, ramps or uneven terrain. The aunav.NEO's capabilities are boosted by an arm attachment that conducts threat prevention and neutralization tasks precisely and effectively. Thanks to this fusion of technologies, the aunav.NEO can, for example, climb an airplane's stairs, adjust its width to manoeuvre through the aisle, open the upper hand luggage compartment and pick up and remove a suspicious object lodged inside.
Another important innovation is that it is a demountable, modular robot. The arms, flippers and batteries can easily be detached, allowing it to be transported in a wide range of vehicles, including the trunk of a car. Just two people are needed to load and attach the parts easily, making it instantly operable. Thanks to the use of Plug and Play technology, the aunav.NEO allows easy incorporation and exchange of accessories, such as cameras, onto different parts of the platform. This versatility, therefore, enables it to be configured for specific mission requirements.
The aunav.NEO is controlled by the company’s exclusive Remote Control Unit (OCU). Noteworthy is the autonomous navigation systems for both indoors and outdoors deployment, which generates 3D maps of the environment.