Industry expected to advance research innovated by Army-led science consortium

phys.org | 8/30/2017 | Staff
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Work to develop small autonomous robots through a 10-year effort led by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory is helping to inform the development of future swarms of heterogeneous Army systems for air and ground - large and small - that work collaboratively.

Last week, researchers from ARL, the Army's corporate laboratory, and their academic partners demonstrated futuristic robotic research platforms during the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) Capstone event. Work began in 2008.

Demos - Rigor - Quality - Research - Army

The demos reinforced scientific rigor, highlighting the quality of the research towards solving Army relevant problems, noting first-ever and state-of-the-art benchmarks.

Dr. Brett Piekarski has been with the program since its inception and has managed the alliance of Army, industry and university researchers since 2012. He said in the next three or four years, "we can expect to see commercial industry advancing the research platforms innovated through this consortium and making their way into future Army autonomous systems. Through the MAST program, we've really forced the state of the art and shown what is possible for Soldier hand held, portable autonomous systems for extended non-line-of-sight applications."

Army - Focus - Area - Technology - Alliance

The Army recently announced its next focus area for a collaborative technology alliance to be known as Distributed Collaborative Intelligent Systems and Technology, or DCIST.

"It's really about high numbers of systems, heterogeneous in nature," Piekarski said. "So you think of it as air, ground, large, small, Soldiers in the loop...How do we do distributed intelligence? And then once we have that decision making, how do we get the information back out and control these large heterogeneous teams in complex and contested environments?"

Piekarski - Lab - Stakeholders - Partners - Research

Piekarski said the lab will continue to work with its stakeholders and partners to take the research to the next level, but it won't be without challenges.

"If you have small, individual robots and you have instrumented Humvees and you...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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