Robotics

May 18, 2015
By George I. Seffers
DARPA has developed a variety of robotic systems, including the Boston Dynamics Big Dog, though traditional developers. The RFT effort aims to engage developers who do not usually work with the government.

Small-scale robot developers who do not normally work with the federal government will be given a chance to do just that under DARPA's new Robotics Fast Track effort.

March 5, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Systems competing in the DARPA robotics challenge must demonstrate the ability to help humans in case of emergency.

Twenty-five teams from around the world will face off in the DARPA Robotics Challenge final competition.

March 5, 2015

Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, California, has been awarded a maximum $430 million fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for surgical robotic systems, instruments, accessories and upgrades. This contract was a competitive acquisition and 35 offers were received. This is a five-year base contract with no option periods. Location of performance is California with a Feb. 23, 2020, performance completion date.

February 11, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Aaron Nicely, of RE2, manipulates the High Dexterity Robot to retrieve candy from a bag at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is going back to high school—sort of. The research arm of the Defense Department launched a challenge for all high school students called Robots4Us, a video contest on societal implications of robotics.

February 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
The Black Hornet Nano-sized unmanned air vehicle has been deployed to Afghanistan with international forces and is one of many systems included in experiments conducted by the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia. A pocket-sized system could be carried into battle by a squad leader to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data.

U.S. Army officials envision a future in which robots are integral members of the team performing a range of missions, whether hunting for roadside bombs, searching for threats inside buildings, lugging heavy equipment or packing heat in the form of a light machine gun or missile launcher for troop protection.

November 6, 2014
George I. Seffers
Biobots detect and track sounds for search and rescue.

NC State University researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.

November 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific personnel and sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit ONE retrieve an unmanned underwater vehicle deployed to detect mines and improvised explosives in shallow water environments.

As the U.S. Navy modernizes information systems across the fleet, one organization is responsible for researching, developing and fielding the full range of technologies in the Asia-Pacific region, providing complete life cycle development and support for systems, from concept to fielded capability.

October 2, 2014
By George I. Seffers
NATO deploys unmanned systems to gather data in support of counter-mine operations.

Multiple autonomous underwater vehicles equipped with modern sensors relevant to NATO minehunting missions are being employed at sea during the Multinational AutoNomy Experiment (MANEX ‘14), held September 22 to October 13, 2014, along the Italian coast, between Framura and Bonassola, in the Ligurian Sea.

September 17, 2014

Advanced Reconnaissance Corporation, Fishkill, New York (W911QX-14-D-0007); Applied Research Associates Incorporated, Albuquerque, New Mexico (W911QX-14-D-0008); A-T Solutions Incorporated, Fredericksburg, Virginia (W911QX-14-D-0009); CyPhy Works Incorporated, Danvers, Massachusetts (W911QX-14-D-0010); EFW Incorporated, Ft.

September 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
A NATO soldier launches a Prox Dynamics PD-100 nanocopter. The U.S. Army is using the system as a surrogate while developing the Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance system.

The U.S. Army is preparing—for the first time—to develop and field micro robotic systems under programs of record, indicating confidence that the technology has matured and years of research are paying off. The small systems will provide individual soldiers and squads with critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data in jungles, buildings and caves that larger systems can’t reach.

August 8, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Navy competition launches technology innovation and student careers.

July 30, 2014

Remotec, Clinton, Tennessee, is being awarded an $8,801,324 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for depot level repairs to the MK3 Series Remote Ordnance Neutralization Systems (RONS), and the upgrade and repair of the MK3 Mod 0 to the MK3 Mod 1 System. The MK3 Mod 1 upgrade will improve the serviceability of the robots, increase the availability of the spare parts and increase the capabilities of the robots.

July 16, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab wraps up experiments testing multiple systems, including robots, radios and ship-to-shore transporters in Hawaii.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Responses to request for information are due August 15.

August 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
The rapid fielding office within the Pentagon helped develop the Accelerated Nuclear DNA Equipment system, which can process five DNA samples in about 90 minutes.

With the war in Afghanistan winding down, the U.S. Defense Department’s rapid deployment office, which specializes in identifying, developing and quickly fielding game-changing technologies, now will take a more long-term approach. Slightly stretching out the process will offer more flexibility to procure the best possible systems, will present more opportunities for interagency and international cooperation and may cut costs.

May 22, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Defense Department is failing to invest in game-changing technology that could increase efficiencies and save lives, according to a just-released report from the Center for a New American Security, which also recommends funding more battlefield drones.

May 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
Researchers working on the RoboEarth project demonstrate a robot’s ability to learn and cooperate with other robotic systems to serve medical patients. The project uses cloud computing to teach robots to perform tasks that seem intuitive for humans but are a challenge for robots.

Researchers working on multiple projects in Europe and the United States are using cloud computing to teach robotic systems to perform a multitude of tasks ranging from household chores to serving hospital patients and flipping pancakes. The research, which one day could be applied to robotic systems used for national defense, homeland security or medical uses, lowers costs while allowing robots to learn more quickly, share information and better cooperate with one another.

April 8, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy has successfully demonstrated the Autonomous Aerial Cargo and Utility System (AACUS), which allows current, full-size helicopters to be remotely controlled by a tablet device. Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, USN, chief of naval research, recently revealed that two young Marines at Quantico, Virginia, were able to land a full-size helicopter autonomously on an unprepared landing site with just one touch on a mini-tablet.

April 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory works with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program, which seeks to develop an unmanned aircraft capable of launching from a small ship.

To address a changing mission amid broader challenges, the U.S. Marines are implementing the service’s future warfighting strategy this year through training, war gaming and experimentation. The strategy calls for forces to be dispersed over wide areas and will require technologies that enhance warfighters’ effectiveness over greater distances.

January 31, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Scientists and engineers from MITRE Corporation and Harvard University published a paper this week revealing the development of what they call the most dense nanoelectronic system ever built. The ultra-small, ultra-low-power processor could be used for tiny robotics, unmanned vehicles and a broad range of commercial applications, including medical sensors.

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