DIG IT AWARD FINALIST: ROBOTICS, AUTOMATION & UNMANNED SYSTEMS
Sending robot squads into danger zones
- By Patrick Marshall
- Oct 17, 2017
As the number of unmanned vehicles available for military missions continues to multiply, an obvious challenge arises: Who is going to control all those robots?
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is addressing that need with a system that allows a single operator to control a semi-autonomous convoy of robot systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The “top layer” solution creates a mesh communication network among the robotic vehicles, enabling the convoy to instinctively follow its designated leader and providing a resilient communications network that can function in urban and subterranean environments.
Real-time mapping becomes more effective, and the group of vehicles can adapt if some are destroyed or disabled.
For the agency, such convoys bring obvious benefits when seeking to discover and dispose of explosives, possible weapons of mass destruction and other dangerous materials. But the technology, developed by Roboteam to be used with its various robot systems, has broader applications on the battlefield and in first responder situations.
Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.