Army extends deal with General Dynamics for robotics work

The Army has awarded a three-year, $28 million contract extension to General Dynamics Corp. to continue work with the Army Research Laboratory's Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA).

Under the contract, General Dynamics Corp. will continue supporting the development of perception technologies enabling robots to see and understand the environment. The company also will work on intelligent control architectures allowing autonomous planning and execution in tactical environments, and on human-machine interfaces capable of tasking robots while minimizing operator workload.

The contract continues General Dynamics' role as the lead for a robotics-focused consortium and will run through 2009.

Initiated in 2001, the robotics alliance is a consortium of academic, industrial and government partners focusing robotics research on the autonomous systems that will provide soldiers with new tactical capabilities.

General Dynamics' initial funding for the alliance was $42 million for robotics research, with an additional time and materials agreement capped at $60 million for transitioning research products.

RCTA partners include Applied Systems Intelligence Inc., BAE Systems North America Inc., Carnegie Mellon University, Florida A&M University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Micro Analysis and Design Inc., Sarnoff Corp., SRI International Inc. and the University of Maryland.

Associate members of the RCTA include Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, PercepTek Inc. and Signal Systems Corp.

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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