Issue 55 Uncrewed Systems Technology Apr/May 2024 Sellafield’s UAV equipment l Applied EV Blanc Robot l Battery tech l Robotican’s Goshawk l UGVs l UAVHE RW1 rotary l Roboat UVD l Autopilots l Arkeocean UVD l UMEX 2024 l CycloTech UVD

Applied EV Blanc Robot UGV | Dossier deliveries (Issue 47, December 2022/ January 2023), chosen by the Estonian manufacturer for its safety properties. “We believe LTO really is the safest chemistry presently available,” Broadbent says. “From a performance perspective, it offers very high rates of charge and discharge, which compensates really well for its low energy density relative to other cell types.” The powertrain From the Gen 5 to the Gen 6, the Blanc Robot went from four highly customised in-wheel electric motors to two centralised-drive units at the front and rear (as is typical with OEM and OEM-reference designs for 4WD EVs). Specifically, each motor is rated at 68 kW continuous power (99 kW peak), with a maximum motor speed of 11,300 pm and a continuous torque of 120 Nm (176 Nm peak). “With such a strong reputation of reliability, capability and credibility, we wanted to preserve a lot of carryover components of the Suzuki Jimny ladderframe architecture to maintain the DNA of the vehicle, and also manage the final cost of the vehicle while increasing its speed to market. Therefore, the electric motors have been coupled with a unique custom EV transmission, integrated with the original axle housing,” says Broadbent. “Similarly, it was important to us to preserve traditional hardware in the braking system. We’ve partnered with Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers for additional electronic braking components, which enables us to elevate the platform to be software-defined in its braking behaviour and achieve an ASIL-D safety rating. Additionally, the bidirectional steering setup enables advantages such as a very tight turn radius of 5.7 m when we’re in four-wheel steer mode.” To maximise the Blanc Robot’s range, Applied EV has put significant effort into identifying its ideal tyre to balance overall performance and rolling resistance. “Anyone in automotive knows a high rolling resistance is the greatest source of inefficiency you can have. It isn’t mechanical or drag losses,” Broadbent says. “In our case, a narrower-width tyre is great for minimising rolling resistance, and there’s some nice high-efficiency compounds out there for the load rating we’re trying to achieve, as well as for the operating speed planned for the Blanc Robot.” The Blanc Robot currently has a maximum speed of 80 kph, although this is a software-defined limitation in the system; hence, it cruises at 80 kph. Secure connectivity As connectivity is an essential component of deployments of the Blanc Robot in industrial services, the Generation 6.2 Digital Backbone CCU has integrated 4G and 5G LTE, as well as wi-fi and Bluetooth WIFI/BT. These integrations enable secure over-the-air as well as cloud connectivity, with GNSS connectivity also installed, as mentioned, to ensure precise localisation and orientation, and real-time telemetry. Future moves As the industry becomes aware of the benefits of using autonomous vehicles across logistics and commercial applications where they can be deployed safely, technology companies such as Applied EV are moving from development to commercialisation. “As far as we can see, automakers aren’t at the point where they’re going to make vehicles that can integrate the necessary sensor and computer complement for fully autonomous safety-rated driving,” Broadbent says. “Through a mix of clear vision, smart design and hard work, we have delivered our software-defined vehicle in a solution that is safety rated, as well as being highly adaptable and future-proof for autonomous applications, providing capabilities that are years ahead of many OEM roadmaps. “Another key goal of ours is to deploy the Digital Backbone in a range of vehicle architectures, and we’ve built a business model to support this, with a strong focus on automotive integration capability. We’re already working on several vehicle integrations and are ready to expand. “Our customers and partners can fast-track their software-defined vehicle-development plans, maximising the potential for cost reduction, decarbonisation and new revenue models, while addressing their strategic objectives for a brighter transport future. “To do our part in making that happen, we just need to keep maturing our tech, testing it over and over, and making it as safe as possible.” 39 Uncrewed Systems Technology | April/May 2024 Blanc Robot Battery-electric Bidirectional steering 4WD Dimensions: 4 m x 1.7 m x 0.8 m Curb mass: 1200 kg Payload capacity: 1500 kg Cruising speed: 80 kph (software limited) Maximum speed: 80 kph (software limited) Maximum range between charges: 400 km Maximum endurance: depends on mass, speed and use case (duty cycle) Maximum charging rate: 6 C Some key suppliers: Automotive OEM: Suzuki Motor Corporation Semiconductors: NXP Design and quality assurance software: Siemens Engineering tool: MathWorks Tool chain and engineering process accreditations: ISO 9001 Key specifications