RCV’s are looking to be used in a much larger scale more frequently with Vehicles and Hardware itself being introduced as much larger remote vehicles that could be potentially used on the battlefield. The US army is looking to advance in areas they categorize as “light” or “medium” RCV machinery.
On the heavyweight side, the Army completed a major experiment sometime in (September 2019) at Camp Grayling, Michigan; where four robotic versions of the M113 armored personnel carrier was evaluated for ground robotic capabilities.
At the event, which will be followed by rigorous testing and evaluation at (Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland); four robotic combat vehicles moved across the battlefield in a wedge formation. Soldiers controlled the platforms to keep them out of harm’s way.
While explaining the results of the test it was said, “They came online, identified an enemy and then the humans called for fire based on the sensors on this robot,” Coffman said. “And then, once the artillery went in, the robots continued to traverse the terrain and engaged with direct fire against an enemy, destroying that enemy, all while the humans were in sanctuary controlling the battlefield.”
( The exercise demonstrated that heavy RCVs can reduce the risk to soldiers on the battlefield ).
Once Army Test and Evaluation Command can put each vehicle through its phases, the platforms will head to Fort Carson, Colorado, in March 2020.
After that phase, the Army plans to evaluate four M113s as well as four medium and four light RCVs that will form a company ( like a platoon ) and execute tactical formations as the Army builds up its capabilities.
In 2023, the Army will evaluate purpose-built heavy variants with the medium and light RCVs also in a company formation.
RCV technology is hoping to leap fields and soon start being implemented and tested in combat aircrafts as well .
As the Army ventures into developing robotic vehicles that don’t just do the dull, dirty and dangerous work, “the biggest thing is going to be software development, improving autonomous and automation software,” … This is crucial in helping a smooth transition for operation between the machine and the soldier. The capabilities can be there but without a smooth, simple control interface it will be hard to properly implement the technology on the battlefield.
** [ Link in whitepaper ]
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