Created in the joint venture between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) and the United States Army, the Crusher vehicle is a six-wheeled, all-wheel drive, hybrid electric, skid-steered, unmanned ground vehicle. The hull is made from high-strength aluminum tubes and titanium nodes protected by a steel skid plate that can absorb shocks. It weighs 14,000 lbs. fully fueled, and is can carry more than 8,000 lbs. of payload. Electric motors embedded in each of the vehicle's six wheels are powered with a hybrid system that uses a turbo diesel generator to recharge its batteries. Its top speed is 26 mph. The field tests taking place within the next two years will focus on its autonomous capabilities. Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center is the prime contractor with key subsystems and components provided by CTC Technologies (vehicle hull structure), Timoney Technology (suspension systems), Saft America (lithium-ion battery pack), and UQM Technologies (electric drive motors).
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