Textron Systems has joined forces with Howe & Howe Technologies to develop and refine an advanced vehicle for the U.S. Army’s Small Multi-Purpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program. By combining Howe & Howe Technologies’ robotic ground vehicle experience with Textron Systems’ expertise in manufacturing and autonomy, the Grizzly is an ideal platform for the U.S. Army’s mission. Developed by Howe & Howe, the Grizzly participated in the 2018 exercise as the RS2H1. Textron acquired Howe & Howe in December 2018. It is a mule-drawn cart in function if not form, a tracked platform built to lighten the loads of the soldiers it accompanies into battle. Sharing Grizzly core technology, the Thermite™ is an innovative, firefighting robot that provides the fire-fighting community with new capabilities.
Grizzly RS2-H1 is a high torque, hybrid diesel-electric drive, tracked vehicle designed to operate in the toughest of terrains while offering unprecedented endurance, reliability and mobility. Grizzly has a zero-turn radius and is capable of maneuvering through complex and confined locations. The modular design of this system and its low-profile base platform allows integration of numerous mission packages including an improvised explosive device defeat rake, counter unmanned aircraft systems, remote weapons systems and “follow-me” autonomous control. Capable of offloading up to 4 kilowatts of power for mission critical equipment, this platform goes above and beyond, providing unmatched versatility and dependability to soldiers where they need it.
For the SMET program, the Army wants a vehicle that can carry about 1,000 pounds worth of soldier equipment — likely lightening the loads of nine soldiers of an infantry squad. In summer 2018, the Army tested multiple robot-wagons by having them transport nine rucksacks, six boxes of MREs and four water cans, or roughly the long-range load for a unit of light infantry. The SMET program wants the robots to be able to travel 60 miles over three days, and it must also be able to provide a spare kilowatt/hour of power while moving, and at least 3 kilowatt/hours while stationary. According to Howe & Howe, the Grizzly performed a 60-mile trek in less than half the time required.