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BAE Tapped to Lead Army Micro-Robotic Effort

by Matt Cox on March 6, 2013

The Army has awarded BAE Systems a $43 million cooperative agreement extension to lead the Army Research Laboratory’s Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology Collaborative Technology Alliance for another five years.

As a result, the company will have a significant role working with the MAST Alliance’s team of scientists from the U.S. Army, academia, and industry as it advances bio-inspired micro-robotics technology to extend the remote sensing capability of U.S. ground forces, according to a BAE Systems release.

The goal of the research is to enable small robotic platforms – that would be used by individual soldiers – to remotely perform surveillance within complex urban environments and terrain.

“The technologies being developed under MAST will support products that extend soldiers’ capabilities while keeping them out of harm’s way,” said Bill Devine, MAST’s strategic development manager for BAE Systems. “We are proud to continue our successful collaboration with the ARL on the next phase of this exciting program.”

The second phase of the MAST program continues the research, development and integration of several key areas including micro-scale aeromechanics and ambulation; propulsion; sensing, autonomy, communications, navigation, and control; and micro-scale integration, enabling several different mission-capable robotic platforms.

“Our recent review by the MAST Research Management Board received high marks for the quality and success of the research conducted over the past five years contributing greatly to the decision to award the five year option to extend the program,” said Dr. Brett Piekarski, ARL MAST Consortium manager.

BAE Systems, in cooperation with primary research labs from the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania and the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, will lead the effort for the ARL into 2017.

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