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Teledyne FLIR SUGV

Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle [ 2012 ]

The Teledyne FLIR SUGV is a tactical-level solution that has found several prominent practical applications across multiple sectors.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/19/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

With the rise in robotics across the modern battlefield, the SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) from Teledyne FLIR is designated for the tactical-level role. Such compact systems keep the operator at a distance, out of harm's way, while the robot investigates structures, potential traps, and defuses armed situations. In the military setting, this entails identifying and dealing with buried mines or IEDs or reconnaissance of seemingly abandoned structures. In the civilian sector, the same vehicle could be used to investigate structural integrity of buildings from an engineering point-of-view or in search -and-rescue operations in the aftermath of an earthquake.

The versatility in design is the hallmark of the SUGV which has seen considerable service in the hands of American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The system is inherently designed for relative portability in-the-field as well as ease-of-use, able to fold down to a more manageable size and weighs around 30lb with its battery pack installed. The chassis is driven by an all-electric, battery-powered drive and propelled along the terrain by way of a track-and-wheel arrangement. At the front of the track components are tracked swiveling "arms" that can be folded out to help the SUGV manage stairs and uneven terrain. An articulated manipulator arm is seated at the front of the low-profile chassis. This appendage allows the operator to manipulate obstacles and objects in the path of the vehicle from a safe distance, rated to lift up to 22lb. Rotation of the appendage is a full 360-degrees from centerline.

The track drive gives the vehicle a tank-link zero-turn radius for getting into and out of tough spots. The battery propulsion system provides for up to six hours of run time and can drive the vehicle to speeds of 6.2 miles-per-hour on prepared surfaces. The chassis is rated for slopes of 40-degrees on ascent / descent and 30-degrees along lateral surfaces. It can climb 12" obstacles and stair rises of 8".

The onboard video equipment consists of four full-color video camera providing excellent real-time visual and audio feeds to the operator. The cameras are also able to zoom in for precision work and provide their own lumination in low-light areas. A fifth, thermal-based, camera is optional and can be equipped to further broaden the tactical appeal of the SUGV. InfraRed (IR) vision is also supported.

As part of the Teledyne FLIR robot family, the SUGV can be arranged to work through the UPOINT multi-robot control system which utilizes a touchscreen interface (by way of ruggedized tablet enclosure) to operate a collection of Teledyne FLIR robot systems through the single, interconnected interface. The MPU5 Wave Relay MANET connected radio communications gives the SUGV good legs in the field, allowing it to operate relatively far from the operator's position, keeping the latter from direct harm.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Teledyne FLIR Defense Systems - USA
United States
Operators National flag of the United States
Service Year
United States
National Origin
Project Status

Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

Vehicle utilizes a track-and-wheel arrangement to provide enhanced cross-country travel capability.
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
Vehicle's proven running gear and overall makeup lends itself well to fulfill other battlefield roles by way of specialized designs.

31 lb
(14 kg)

1 x Battery-powered propulsion system driving track-and-wheel arrangement.
Drive System
6 mph
(10 kph)
Road Speed

None. Mission equipment limited to cameras and manipulator arm appendage.
Not Applicable.

SUGV ("Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle") - Base Series Designation.
Model 310 - Variant.

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Image of the Teledyne FLIR SUGV
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS database; Public Release.

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