Cougar20-H surveillance robot that sees through walls and detects breathing
By Darren Quick
February 6, 2011
The Cougar20-H is a remote-controlled surveillance robot that is so sensitive it can not only detect motion through walls but, to ensure no one goes unnoticed, it can also detect the breathing of a stationary person. Packing a fine beam ultra-wideband (UWB), multi-Gigahertz radio frequency (RF) sensor array as well as multiple integrated cameras for day and night time visibility, the Cougar20-H was designed by surveillance imaging specialist TiaLinx to provide improved situational awareness to soldiers while keeping them out of harm’s way.
The lightweight and agile robot travels on caterpillar tracks and is remotely controlled via a laptop that can be located more than 300 feet (91 m) away. An RF scanner mounted on the robot’s lightweight arm transmits highly directional wideband signals that are able to penetrate reinforced concrete walls at an extended range. Reflections from the targets are captured by a signal detector circuit in the receiver and amplitude and delay information is then processed in an integrated signal processor to track the targets in real time.
“Cougar20-H has the capability to sense-through-the-wall (STTW) at farther distances than Cougar10-L that was launched last month," said Dr. Fred Mohamadi, Founder and CEO of TiaLinx. "Cougar20-H can also be remotely programmed at multiple way points to scan the desired premise in a multi-story building and provide its layout. In contrast only Cougar10-L is capable of scanning a premise horizontally for unexploded ordnance (UXO) as well as vertically to STTW.”
TiaLinx developed the Cougar20-H’s real-time UWB RF Imaging technology with funding from the U.S. Army. In addition to military applications, the robot, which ships next month, could also allow law enforcement agencies to detect potential targets within buildings or allow firefighters to locate people inside burning buildings.