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Robots on display at Fort Benning

An Army truck rolled down the road but there was no driver.

“Think of these trucks in a convoy,” said John Wray, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research and Engineering Center. “A missile hits, the cargo is lost, but no soldiers.”

Systems, such as the Pronto 4 Agnostic Autonomy System by Kairos Autonomi that allows vehicles to travel without humans aboard as well as other high-tech gadgets, were on display Thursday at Fort Benning’s McKenna Complex.

More than 50 robotics companies from across the country showed their wares at a Robotics Rodeo.

This was the second such event. The first took place last year at Fort Hood, Texas.

The rodeo was co-hosted by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research and Engineering Center along with Fort Benning.

Visitors, which on Thursday included the post’s Commanding Gen. Michael Ferriter, watched demonstrations of the many systems.

One such device was the SXT Manipulator by Northrop Grumman.

It allows the robot that is doing work to reach into a toolbox and get the tool needed rather than traveling back to the operator to get one attached.

Today’s robots are typically equipped with a single, two-finger gripper. With this new device, the robot will have all the tools needed when performing an act such as disarming a bomb.

Another device in the show was the Mimo Radio Solution by Silvus Technologies.

Often radio contact to a robot is lost when the robot turns the corner of a building that it is helping to clear out. This new system allows the signal to remain strong so the work can be done with less danger to soldiers.

Primordial calls its Ground Guidance system a “revolutionary off-road navigation software.”

Where existing GPS systems have no terrain knowledge and give only straight line routes, the Ground Guidance system, with detailed knowledge of terrain, plots the best path and routes around dangerous terrain.

“A lot of the things you see will not only be used in military vehicles but in those everyone drives. You’re probably already seeing some of that,” said Jeff Ernat of TARDEC.

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