Increasing battlefield awareness is one way in which automated systems can help save lives. Sarcos Defense yesterday said it has been awarded a contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a collaborative sensing platform for the detection, tracking, and classification of “time-critical objects in dynamic adversarial environments.”
The wholly owned subsidiary of Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corp. will focus on algorithms to enable autonomous and semi-autonomous platforms to accurately perceive both stationary and moving objects.
“This research is critically important to the DoD [U.S. Department of Defense] and may have significant benefits to our overall U.S. defense operations,” said Dr. Peter Zulch, a researcher at the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL). “Our collaboration with Sarcos is long-standing, and this new contract will allow us to develop a platform that will enable autonomous systems equipped with various sensors to work more effectively together and help the DoD make faster and better-informed operational decisions about potential threats.”
Salt Lake City, Utah-based Sarcos Defense is led by former U.S. military officers and business leaders and develops robotic systems that augment humans to enhance productivity and safety.
The Sarcos unit works with the DoD and other federal and international government agencies to identify modern military needs, conducts research and development, and commercializes systems to meet specialized requirements.
Sarcos Defense works on CLUTCHES
Under contract FA8750-22-C-1005 Sarcos Defense will work on Closed Loop Ubiquitous Tasking and Control of Heterogeneous Exploring Sensors (CLUTCHES), which defines a novel artificial intelligence framework that combines upstream multi-sensor fusion with adaptive real-time sensor management on individual platforms.
“This new contract with AFRL will support our development efforts for a collaborative sensing solution that enables our DoD partners to quickly, accurately, and safely identify, track, and classify time-critical objects using autonomous heterogenous sensor networks and AI,” stated Dr. Denis Garagić, chief technology officer of Sarcos.
“This project has significant potential across the U.S. defense industry and beyond, to improve the operations, safety, data collection, and communication of autonomous platforms, such as UASs and UAVs [unmanned aircraft systems and unmanned aerial vehicles],” he said.
Sarcos added that it expects this research to benefit its commercial robotics products, particularly its Cybernetic Training for Autonomous Robots (CYTAR) AI platform, which the company is also developing with AFRL. Sarcos is also working with BAE Systems on sensing capabilties for the AFRL.
In addition, work in this area is expected to improve situational awareness and safety for Sarcos’ robots, including its Guardian XT dexterous teleoperated robot; the Guardian DX defense teleoperated system; and the Guardian XO full-body, battery-powered, industrial exoskeleton.
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