Stratom announces that the United States Marine Corps (USMC) has awarded the company a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract to develop a prototype Autonomous Pallet Loader (APL) vehicle that exponentially increases the efficiency and safety of aircraft cargo loading tasks.
“Current cargo operations are time-consuming, strenuous, expensive and occasionally dangerous for military personnel. At Stratom, we are enthusiastic about the myriad safety and efficiency benefits our APL solution will deliver to support our warfighters and our country,” said Mark Gordon, President & CEO of Stratom. “This is a strategic win that helps grow our portfolio of autonomous unmanned heavy cargo movement systems and illustrates the viability of leveraging such solutions for not only the defense industry but commercial sector applications as well.”
Stratom knows how to build to MIL-SPEC
Stratom will support the USMC by automating the movement of palletized cargo in and out of aircraft (specifically CH-53K and C-130 helicopters) and across landing zones. The company’s proposed APL system is designed to significantly reduce the time and cost needed to load and unload aircraft by automating vehicle and cargo loading, as well as placement and retrieval of pallets on dunnage. The system will considerably decrease Marine and aircraft exposure in landing zones, minimize the number of required personnel, remove the need for material handling equipment and trained operators, and improve the ability to transport cargo over unimproved terrain.
The SBIR program is highly competitive and encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/research and development with the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIRs enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization.
Stratom continues to innovate in the autonomous heavy cargo movement space. The company’s APL vehicle prototype builds off of prior successful programs with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army that ultimately resulted in the development of Stratom’s eXpeditionary Robotic-Platform (XR-P) and eXpeditionary Robotic-Field Artillery Autonomous Resupply (XR-FAAR) vehicles.