K-MAX, Ground Cargo Robot Collaborate on Fully Autonomous Mission

The Army paired an unmanned air cargo aircraft with a ground robot to perform an autonomous resupply mission at Fort Benning, Ga., on Aug. 18. The test began with a K-MAX unmanned helicopter which carried a squad mission support system in a sling and delivered it to a mock battleground. The robot then performed resupply and surveillance missions.

The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center and Lockheed Martin sponsored the demonstration. “The synergistic use of unmanned air and ground vehicles will give warfighters a larger operational reach, and allow execution of missions that are currently performed at great risk to the warfighter,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers in a statement.

After performing the resupply mission, the robot was then tasked with finding a surveillance point wherein it raised its gyrocam sensor and scanned the area for enemy forces.

This demonstration was aimed at illustrating the impact of integrating unmanned aerial vehicles with unmanned ground vehicles on eliminating operator risk. In an actual combat scenario, the ground robot would be able to perform resupply tasks that would reduce the number of truck convoys, as well as allow for a remote operator to observe dangers in combat zones and assess situations accordingly, said the statement. … (Read more)

Source: NationalDefenseMagazine.org