AI News, Helicopter Robot Airdrops Recon Ground Robot, No Humans Necessary

Helicopter Robot Airdrops Recon Ground Robot, No Humans Necessary

In essence, performing reconnaissance is all about trying to find something that you reallydon’t want to find.

“Oh hey, looks like we found that insanely dangerous thing we’ve been searching for, hooray!” You know what comes next: let’s get the robots to do this sort of thing instead, right?

Last October, Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with aircraft manufacturerSikorsky, gave the U.S. Army a demonstration of a fully autonomous Black Hawk helicopter teaming up with a fully autonomous ground vehicle to show how a team like this can search out threats without humans having to even get up off the couch.

The UGV (using its onboard sensors, computing, and autonomy software) can detect, classify, and reason about the environment to quickly and safely navigate through unstructured environments.

Dealing with stuff like tall grass, tree limbs across the trail, and inconveniently placed rocks doesn’t get any easier just because a robot helicopter dropped you in the middle of the woods.

At this point, the project has been able to demonstrate that the technical capabilities exist for an autonomous, cooperative multi-robot mission like this to succeed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll immediately see robot helicopters dropping UGVs out of the sky all over the place.

The conditions in place for this proof-of-concept demo were pretty close to ideal, and more testing is definitely necessary to bring this system anywhere close to the maturity level required for real military deployment.

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