Carnegie Mellon developing robo-tank

30 Nov 2007

Carnegie Mellon has been awarded $14.4 million to continue its research into autonomous vehicles for the battlefield

Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center has won a $14.4 million contract to continue development of its unmanned ground vehicle technology for the US army.

The team says that the majority of the budget will go towards updating Crusher, a 6.5 tonne, unmanned support vehicle it developed in 2006.

However, the university also has a mandate to prove that autonomous ground vehicles are feasible in future combat situations, with the army supplying additional funds depending on progress.

"We're delighted that the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) will play a key role in showing how advanced autonomous vehicles work in Future Combat Systems settings," says NREC Director John Bares.

"Our goal will be to develop, integrate and test a high-performance unmanned ground vehicle with the most up-to-date mobility and autonomy technologies."

The award follows the university's recent success in the DARPA challenge, a competition designed to inspire innovation in the creation of driverless ground vehicles.

Carnegie Mellon's entry, nicknamed Boss, scooped top prize by successful driving around a ghost town in California without crashing.

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