Lockheed Martin Successfully Navigates DARPA Robotic Challenge Milestone
CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 27, 2013 - Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) is moving forward in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)- sponsored Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC) by successfully navigating a virtual robot through a disaster relief scenario.
"Our team's software solution controls a robot in a state of 'supervised autonomy,'" said Bill Borgia, director of Robotic Systems at Lockheed Martin ATL. "This means a robot completes simple tasks independent of the operator. Then, if there's something tricky the robot can't work independently, a remote, and largely untrained, operator will step in and assist."
Using a supervised autonomy approach, Lockheed Martin ATL’s “TROOPER” team guided a humanoid robot through multiple scenarios, including walking up to a utility vehicle, entering the vehicle, and driving the vehicle with constrained bandwidth. This single challenge was part of the larger DARPA Robotics Challenge, which seeks to develop and research robotic technology that will enable the robots of the future to aid in disaster response operations – particularly when activities are hazardous for human workers.
For the next segment of the challenge, the Lockheed Martin ATL team will receive a robot to use as a system test bed. In December 2013, the team will face off against all the teams moving forward in this challenge, as well as teams supplying their own robot. Lockheed Martin ATL is partnered with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and University of Pennsylvania (GRASP Lab) for the effort.
ATL is Lockheed Martin’s applied research and development facility that specializes in advanced computing technologies, and transitions them throughout the company, military services, and service laboratories. Technology focus areas include autonomy and artificial intelligence, network-centric operations, cognitive computing, information exploitation, and spectrum technologies.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.