The US Army has awarded autonomous ground vehicle and robotic system developer Stratom a contract to deliver an unmanned system that will help the US Army’s new robotic tank better maneuver the battlefield.
According to the announcement, Stratom will be delivering a personnel safety system for Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light, an unmanned tank the service is trialing.
The army is currently in the process of evaluating a range of unmanned ground combat vehicle prototypes under the RCV program, which will help the service determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations and eventually help it make a decision on how to proceed with robotic combat vehicles in 2023.
Known as the Perimeter Safety for Autonomous Vehicles (P-SAV), the robotic system will provide 360-degree sensor coverage and a computer system that leverages machine learning to intelligently identify objects close to the vehicle.
P-SAV will do this by utilizing newly developed ROS2-based software to communicate the appropriate information to the RCV’s operator and its computer system to execute appropriate behaviors.
“As robotic vehicles are increasingly utilized across applications where it may be inconvenient, dangerous or impossible to have a human operator present, we are excited for the opportunity to bring our successful past performance to the RCV-L program and continue supporting the government in its objective to move toward autonomous systems,” said Mark Gordon, Stratom’s president and CEO.
The standalone appliqué kit for RCV-L will have hardware components, a computer system and advanced image processing software to automate difficult tasks, such as personnel identification and situational awareness for vehicle operation in challenging conditions.
“At Stratom, we have a deep understanding of the Army’s needs and objectives, which positions us to uniquely recognize what they’re looking for — and then transform our technical expertise into solutions that meet the Department of Defense’s operational needs,” said Andrew Lycas, Stratom’s principal roboticist. “Even better, this solution illustrates our investment in developing the Summit Off-Road Autonomy Platform is already paying dividends. We will leverage Summit and the recently developed eXpeditionary Robotic-Field Artillery Autonomous Resupply (XR-FAAR)™ vehicle platform as a surrogate for the RCV-L to complete rigorous testing of the P-SAV prototype before deploying the module onto RCV-L.”