FOD Dogs

FOD Dogs: The New Runway Clearing Solution

A Low-Cost, Robust Robot Platform for Runway Safety

The United States Air Force has signed a contract with Siemens Government Technologies to develop a new technology that aims to clear runways of hazardous debris. The technology is a four-wheeled robot known as a FOD Dog, which will be used to detect Foreign Object Debris (FOD) on runways and flight decks.

How the FOD Dog Works

The FOD Dog is a basic rugged chassis with an electric motor that scans runways for foreign objects using off-the-shelf laser sensors. The sensors detect anything projecting out from the surface of the runway. The scanner is simpler than a camera and works just as well in conditions of poor visibility like driving rain. The robot is equipped with a perception system developed by TurbineOne, which serves as the operating system to make all of these detections possible without an internet connection. The FOD Dogs start with a catalog of different objects but are able to learn new ones. They can even share information between pack members, so they will steadily become better at identifying specific types of FOD on a particular site.

The Advantages of the FOD Dog

The FOD Dog has great potential as a low-cost, robust robot platform for runway safety. The combination of a low-cost, robust robot platform and smart sensing has great potential, and the FOD Dog may be the forerunner of many breeds of helpful robots working in a variety of fields. The robots can ignore weather and carry a heavier payload of varied sensors, making them ideal for industrial inspection. The FOD Dog technology is also being developed for use in factories, construction sites, and other applications.

The Importance of FOD Detection

The FOD Dog is a promising technology that could revolutionize runway safety. By detecting FOD on runways and flight decks, the FOD Dog can help prevent foreign objects from damaging aircraft and causing catastrophic accidents. The FOD Dog is a low-cost, robust robot platform that has great potential in a variety of fields beyond runway safety. The FOD Dog technology is being developed under an Air Force contract signed with Siemens Government Technologies and subcontractor TurbineOne. A full working prototype system is expected to be demonstrated by next January.

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