Unmanned Systems Technology 026 I Tecdron TC800-FF I Propellers I USVs I AUVSI 2019 part 1 I Robby Moto UAVE I Singular Aircraft FlyOx I Teledyne SeaRaptor I Simulation & Testing I Ocean Business 2019 report

22 W hile many unmanned vehicle platforms are intended to take on multiple roles, starting with a particular job in mind is a good way of focusing development efforts, building relationships with potential operators and learning about the challenges presented by the environments in which they work. Tecdron has taken this route with its TC800-FF UGV (formerly known as the Sentinel), a 540 kg tracked vehicle capable of carrying an 800 kg payload and withstanding the heat that comes with operating close to wildfires and burning buildings, to help keep human firefighters at a safe distance. Other sectors the company has in mind include the construction, nuclear power and military markets, so versatility has been very important from the start. Tecdron emphasises that, although the TC800-FF has a degree of autonomy in the form of path-following capabilities, it is primarily intended as a remotely operated platform designed to help firefighters and other emergency responders with dangerous, difficult or physically demanding tasks. Its electric motors and rubber tracks enable it to operate inside buildings, where its compact size allows it to pass through doorways (it measures 156.4 cm long by 65 cm high by 77 cm wide), and its battery pack provides a maximum endurance of 6 hours. While the TC800-FF is a clean-sheet design, it incorporates lessons learned from the development and fielding of the Scarab TX with the Paris Fire Brigade, and has been developed in response to a follow-on tender from the service. CEO Jean-Charles Mammana explains, “When we submitted our response to the tender, the TC800- FF’s conception phase was being finalised. We took their requirements and specifications into consideration in order to design a robot that would more than meet their expectations. “We put on paper everything we had learned from our previous experiences with firefighters, and started from scratch to design a more powerful and more reliable platform.” He emphasises, however, that Tecdron works with many fire brigades across France as well as overseas, and each one has its own more or less specific Tecdron TC800-FF | Dossier Peter Donaldson explains the approach behind developing this versatile UGV, which is aimed initially at firefighting duties Blazing a June/July 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology Compactness and the ability to climb steps as well as negotiate rough ground put limits on the overall size of the vehicle, and made tracks preferable to wheels (Courtesy of Tecdron)