Manufacturer: Carnegie Mellonís National Robotics Engineering Center - NREC  
Product type: Auxiliary Vehicles  
Name: Robot, Unmanned Vehicle  

The Autonomous Platform Demonstrator (APD) will develop, integrate and test next-generation unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technologies.

These technologies include hybrid-electric drive systems, advanced vehicle suspension systems, and lightweight chassis technologies on a single platform. APDís development is based upon Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Modernization program requirements and specifications, including weight, mobility, performance and size. It will ultimately serve as a large-scale UGV integration platform for demonstrating technologies developed under the Robotic Vehicle Control Architecture (RVCA) project. APD systems were developed and tested using NREC's UGV Systems Integration Lab.


The APD project will continue the development and maturation of UGV core mobility technologies. This effort will benefit all unmanned platform mobility, subsystem and control development.

APD will ultimately be used as a highly-mobile UGV platform demonstrator for the RVCA program, replacing the Crusher UGV.

APDís key performance parameters include a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour and the ability to autonomously perform a single lane change. Its size requirements include the ability to deploy two vehicles on a C-130 transport plane.


The 80 kph speed requirement presents the most significant challenge for NREC designers to meet for a skid-steered vehicle. To address this requirement and others the NREC team completed in-depth trade studies in suspension technology and configuration, hull structure, vehicle drive architectures, battery technology, cooling approach and engines.

The team successfully completed Preliminary Design Review in August 2008. They target vehicle rollout in August 2009. Following rollout, APD will undergo extensive mobility testing and ultimately replace Crusher as the primary RVCA test platform. The program culminates in Soldier Operation Experiments in 2010.

APD is the first UGV to use the Safety Monitor as part of its overall safety approach.

Property Value
Weight (kg)
Max. road speed (km/h)
Number of wheels
Number of drive wheels

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