Los Alamos National LaboratoryEngineering Institute
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Unmanned Stockpile Surveillance

Collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering


  • Institute Director
  • Charles Farrar
  • (505) 663-5330
  • Email
  • UCSD EI Director
  • Michael Todd
  • (858) 534-5951
  • Executive Administrator
  • Ellie Vigil
  • (505) 667-2818
  • Email
  • Institute Administrator
  • Vacant

UCSD Faculty and Graduate Students

  • Professor Michael Todd , Structural Engineering
  • Professor Thomas Bewley, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

LANL Collaborators

  • Dr. Matt Bement (INST-OFF: INSTITUTES)

The primary objective of this research effort is to develop and prototype a novel unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), as illustrated in the figure, that could be used for unmanned stockpile surveillance as well as environment monitoring and characterization in hazardous and/or accident scenarios.  This design combines the obstacle avoidance features of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with the efficiency and simplicity features of “rolling-class” Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). The design is mechanically very simple (in sharp contrast with “crawler-class” UGVs with complicated legs and joints), and on most terrain will spend the majority of the time simply rolling from point A to point B (either on three wheels or two, as indicated in the figure below. Its unique feature is that it can overcome complex obstacles when necessary quite easily, simply by “hopping” over them.