<pre><pre>The Squad X project from DARPA combines marines and robots to eliminate the fog of war

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on a project in which partners dispose of soldiers with autonomous robots and drones Team X. It is designed to give soldiers in the field more information about their environment.

Historically, one of the most persistent problems on the battlefield is known as & # 39; fog or war & # 39; – a collective sentence describing the uncertainty of the environment. Technology has done wonders to help prevent this: horse scouts, balloonists, planes and satellites have been able to provide more and more information to commanders, enabling them to respond more effectively to their enemies and surroundings. The introduction of drones, robots and sensors on the battlefield further promise your environment, and Squad X seems to be entering there.

DARPA tested the Squad X program for the first time in California last year with a one-week test in which US marines used drones and robots to coordinate their movements and detect potential threats in the field. The project uses various tools to collect and pass on information to marines and soldiers: autonomous robots that can drive around their locations; air drones that can explore their immediate environment; and standard Android tablets to record all that information and offer it to the soldiers on the ground. An artificial intelligence system processed the information from the sensors and presented the relevant data to the participants.

Image: DARPA

There are two systems on hearing this project: one from CACI called BITS Electronic Attack Module (BEAM) Squad System (BSS), allowing staff to "detect, detect, and attack specific threats in the radio frequency and cyber domains" and Lockheed Martin's Augveded Spectral Situational Awareness and Unaided Localization for Transformative Squads (ASSAULTS) system that uses drones and robots to target to locate and activate. DARPA says the systems & # 39; small squads at battalion level provide insights and intelligence & # 39; offer.


Squad X program manager Lt. Col. Phil Root explained that the systems they were testing did not include weapons. "Man is of course involved in every deadly action, but at this point it is about establishing a superior situational awareness." What the system is meant to do is to collect and process the relevant information and then let soldiers and marines act on what they learn.

Lockheed Martin & # 39; s ASSAULTS system is equipped with marines with vests equipped with sensors and accompanied by drones and robots, which then move into desert-like and simulated urban environments. DARPA notes that robots are "always busy exploring and making the best of the current situation" to gather information and monitor their environment. Another experiment included a "supernode", an autonomous off-road Polaris full of sensors.

Like other ongoing tests that the military is conducting with autonomous armored vehicles, DARPA has noted that the tests are not only to figure out how to use the systems, but also how the tactics used by the soldiers will change. Root said there was a "steady evolution of tactics" that came with their robotic teammate. DARPA was not only developing the tools for the soldiers, says Root, "but is rather developing the hardware and tactics that make this possible to work seamlessly within the close-combat ground environment."