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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Allen-Vanguard to co-develop world’s first Wireless Underground Robots for First Responders (WURFR)

Feb 8, 2012

A new robot that can communicate wirelessly from underground could be used to rescue people trapped in inaccessible places. Credit: The Engineer

Allen-Vanguard, trusted global leader in providing solutions for defeating terrorist/extremist threats, announced today its collaboration with WFS Defense, leading supplier of through-ground and through-water wireless communications technology, to develop and demonstrate the industry’s first Wireless Underground Robots for First Responders (WURFR) robotic vehicle. The announcement was made on the opening day of the Security & Policing Exhibition 2012, in Farnborough, UK, where Allen-Vanguard is displaying its latest Counter-Threat solutions.

During emergency incidents, First Responders deploy Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to avoid exposing themselves to unnecessary risks in hostile or challenging environments, such as clandestine tunnels, subway systems and underground structures. The WURFR project, co-funded by the United Kingdom Technology Strategy Board, will alleviate the logistics currently posed by hardwire tethers or multiple repeaters needed to control a robot in these situations. This will be achieved through the seamless integration of WFS’s through-ground wireless communications into Allen-Vanguard’s Digital Vanguard robot.

Allen-Vanguard President & CEO, Dennis Morris, commented, “Our WURFR-generation robot will improve First Responder safety by enabling operators to remain above ground while reliably communicating with their ROV as it conducts visual reconnaissance, detects hazardous substances and mitigates threats.” He continued, “This unprecedented capability will greatly simplify on site operations and reduce costs for
inspecting and clearing high risk underground locations.”

The WURFR-enabled ROV will use WFS’ wireless modems to provide 2-way communications, track its
location, stream video and convey data from sensors. The Digital Vanguard is the ideal platform for this project based on its outstanding operational capabilities and widespread user base of First Responders and
security agencies.

About Allen-Vanguard
Allen-Vanguard is a trusted global leader in providing solutions for defeating terrorist and extremist threats. With an unrivaled expertise in counter-threat solutions, systems, and technologies, we deliver battle-proven equipment for defeating IEDs and other terrorist incidents at the technical, operational, and national policy levels.

About the UK Technology Strategy Board
The UK Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.

About WFS Defense
WFS Defense is the world's leading supplier of through-water and through-ground wireless technology for
communication, navigation and power transfer. Utilizing radio, acoustic and inductive power transfer technologies, our field proven expertise in wireless connectivity is delivering cost savings and new capabilities to the Homeland Security and Defense industries.

Source: Allen-Vanguard


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