While autonomous commercial and passenger vehicles may dominate the headlines, progress continues to be made in field and defense applications. Stratom Inc. yesterday launched its RAPID autonomous refueling, recharging, and liquid-transfer system for rugged environments.
“Autonomy is transforming how we live, work, learn and entertain ourselves,” said Mark Gordon, president and CEO of Stratom. “Trends are increasingly showing that applications of this technology center around autonomous vehicles and the deployment of autonomous fleets.”
“As the world moves toward an autonomous future, why bring humans back in the loop?” he asked. “At Stratom, we automate monotonous, difficult, or dangerous tasks to help keep organizations—and their most valuable assets, their people—operating safely and at peak efficiency.”
Boulder, Colo.-based Stratom develops autonomous ground vehicles and robots to solve logistics and operational challenges for commercial and defense applications. The service-disabled veteran-owned small business specializes in autonomous cargo movement, robotic refueling, robotic hazardous liquid transfer, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
The company said its research and development, engineering, and systems integration expertise allows it to tailor systems to the needs of customers including global corporations, local businesses, and government institutions. It also serves the construction and agriculture industries.
Stratom builds RAPID to be adaptable
Stratom said the new system builds on its proven robotic-refueling experience, which is trusted by the U.S. Department of Defense. RAPID combines a customized robotic arm, a suite of sensors, different mounting configurations, a fuel line, and an end effector with Stratom’s core autonomy software that drives the entire system.
With the ability to refuel both autonomous and human-operated systems, RAPID is adaptable to different vehicle types, said the company. It can be deployed for a variety of applications, from mining, warehouse operations, trucking, aviation, and cargo movement to high-volume container refilling and the transport of other materials, including water, other liquids, and hazardous wastes.
The RAPID refueling system can be equipped for various fuel and power sources, including diesel, gas, hydrogen, electric charging ports, or a combination of fuel sources, said Stratom.
The robotic arm’s reach and payload capabilities are adaptable, and the fuel line can deliver variable flow rates and fuel amounts based on the application, the company explained. The system is equipped with several safety features and uses vision sensing and detection systems to provide industry-leading precision, Stratom claimed.
Operational benefits of robotic refueling
In addition, Stratom said RAPID can provide the following operational benefits:
Reduced human exposure to hazardous environments
Improved productivity and efficiency of a fuel delivery system
Streamlined configurability as a self-sufficient containerized system
Ruggedized design for deployment in the most austere environments
Increased resilience of operations
“Delivering a completely customized, groundbreaking solution aligned with the evolution of autonomous vehicles empowers Stratom to partner with innovative companies across industries to continue to solve the most pressing real-world operational challenges,” said Ryan DelGizzi, Stratom’s director of engineering.
“With RAPID, crewed and uncrewed transportation and logistics operations decision-makers can significantly increase project flexibility and cost-efficiency while simultaneously solving productivity and safety challenges related to conveying significant amounts of liquid or fueling or recharging autonomous systems, vehicles, aircraft, and other platforms,” he said.