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Three-Year Study Will Focus On Autonomous Capabilities For Soldiers

Westminster MD (SPX) Oct 04, 2005
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has extended its Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) with General Dynamics Robotic Systems for an additional three years.

The contract, which continues General Dynamics' role as the lead for a robotics-focused consortium, has a value of approximately $28 million and will run through fiscal year 2009. General Dynamic Robotic Systems is part of General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics.

"This three-year extension to the Robotics CTA program is a vote of confidence from senior Army leadership," said Charles Shoemaker, director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Robotics Office and Robotics Collaborative Alliance Manager.

"In particular, the Army acknowledged the team's research progress and products and noted how critical its autonomous systems products are to the Army's transformation efforts."

Initiated in 2001, the Robotics CTA is a consortium of academic, industrial and government partners focusing cutting-edge robotics research on the core autonomous systems capabilities that will provide soldiers and other DoD personnel with revolutionary new tactical capabilities.

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

  • The Robotics CTA focuses on three autonomous systems:
  • Perception technologies enabling robots to see and understand the environment;
  • Intelligent control architectures allowing autonomous planning and execution in tactical environments; and
  • Human-machine interfaces capable of effectively tasking robots while minimizing operator workload.
  • Results from the initial Robotics CTA, such as new autonomous mobility solutions, have already been transitioned to the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center's Vetronics Technology Integration program, the PM Force Protection Systems Mobile Detection and Response (MDARS) program, and the Future Combat Systems Autonomous Navigation Systems (ANS) program."

    "We are very pleased to continue serving the Army on its advanced robotics initiatives. The extension of the Robotics CTS will help us to more quickly advance the technologies that are necessary to design and develop future unmanned systems," said Scott Myers, General Dynamics Robotics Systems president.

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