The military’s eventual switch towards unmanned vehicles and even robot soldiers is inevitable. Humans have physical limitations while a machine will run as long as it is being provided with fuel and proper maintenance. It doesn’t require sleep, stress disorder therapy and can be controlled far away from the dangerous battlefield. This military experiment of teaming up an autonomous land robot with a self-piloted Black Hawk helicopter shows the level of sophistication and teamwork that we can expect from drone technology of today.
In this mission, the black hawk had to carry initially his team member by a harness and take it to the desired location. After releasing it at the right place, both combined to simulate a drill of detecting and sharing data regarding chemical, biological and nuclear hazards on the ground. The Aircraft uses the Sikorsky’s Matrix Technology to navigate across the skies and doesn’t require the intervention of a human pilot at all.
The ground unit used in the manoeuvre was Carnegie Mellon University’s Land Tamer, an advanced unmanned armoured vehicle developed in collaboration with National Robotics Engineering Center. It has onboard CBRN sensors to locate biological, chemical and other weapons threat. While UGV can also navigate autonomously, it was remotely piloted in this operation. At the same time, it was able to communicate and coordinate with the black hawk drone in the sky.
Both Sikorsky and CMU have worked for 19 months to demonstrate for US Army Tank Automotive Research, development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). It was eventually held at Sikorsky’s facility in Florida. The aim of this exercise was to team up air and ground units to provide a modular, adaptive and smart capability in the ever-growing unmanned inventory of the battle commanders. Check out the video below for more details: