The companies are performing the work under a $100,000 U.S. Small Business Innovation Research program award to create an autonomous robot that can interact with humans as a team member by physically following its teammates and reacting to visual and gestured commands.
Under the Multinodal Interface for Natural Operator Teaming with Autonomous Robots (Minotaur), 5D Robotics will integrate its behavior software for robots with Charles River's vision-based tracking and gesture recognition technology to process specific commands.
5D said its software enables any robot to autonomously follow hand signals.
"The Minotaur project is advancing how robots and humans work together," said David Rowe, 5D Robotics chief executive officer. "As U.S. Defense and commercial budgets shrink, robots will be called upon to take on more complex tasks and work in close cooperation with humans.
"This project is immediately appropriate for our war fighters and future-ready for the commercial sector. The team at Charles River has created software that integrates perfectly with our own, and we believe we'll have a robust, amazingly responsive robotic software within six months."