Tuesday, June 8, 2010

General Dynamics Robotic Systems-Led Team Awarded Collaborative Technology Alliance Agreement

General Dynamics Robotic Systems-Led Team Awarded Collaborative Technology Alliance Agreement
June 8, 2010

WESTMINSTER, Md., -A General Dynamics Robotics Systems-led consortium of eight academic and corporate leaders in robotic technologies has been awarded a $63 million five-year research agreement by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to create the technical foundation supporting development of autonomous unmanned air and ground systems.

This agreement also has a second five-year option worth $67 million, and a parallel technology-transition contract valued at up to $90 million to facilitate transition of technology to other government programs. Taken together, the entire effort has a potential value of $220 million.

General Dynamics Robotic Systems is the Integration Lead Organization responsible for integrating the broad palette of technology required to create future highly autonomous unmanned systems and leading the transition of this technology to advanced development and acquisition programs. The robotics consortium members include: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Central Florida, Florida A&M University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech University, QinetiQ North America, and Boston Dynamics.

"This award paves a path for transitioning the seminal work of our alliance's researchers into robotic products and systems that will transform the battlefield and save soldiers' lives," said Phil Cory, vice president, General Dynamics Robotic Systems.

"The alliance will pursue four technology areas critical to the development of future autonomous air and ground systems of multiple scales," said Cory. "These key technologies are perception, intelligence, human-robot interaction, and dexterous manipulation and unique mobility. In addition, the alliance will focus on the interplay between these four areas to form the foundations of cohesive, integrated robotic systems."

The robotics alliance will advance fundamental science and technology in several key areas including the ability of unmanned systems to sense and fully understand features and activities in the local environment; interact intelligently with the surroundings to successfully conduct meaningful activity, individually or as part of a team; readily adapt to changing situations and learn from prior experience; be integrated safely and successfully into human activity; dexterously manipulate objects in a human-like fashion; and maneuver in cluttered, complex environments.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory of the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command provides innovative science, technology and analyses to enable a full-spectrum of military operations. It serves as the bridge between the scientific and technical communities and the Army, and is the leader in providing innovative solutions for the current and future warfighter.

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