Northrop Grumman is sending robots to Iraq, which it says will be the first autonomous ground robots in a combat zone.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Hoping to reduce human casualties in Iraq, the Army is preparing to use unmanned robotic ground vehicles built by Northrop Grumman Corp. for use in surveillance and border-security missions, the company said Monday.
It would be the first use of autonomous ground vehicles in a combat zone, the Century City-based defense contractor said
The company's Tactical Amphibious Ground Support vehicle weighs 3,400 pounds, can reach a speed of 25 miles per hour and is about the size of a compact car, with a flatbed top and tank-like treads that can be interchanged with tires.
But Nisbet cautioned that the Northrop robots' effectiveness still had to be tested, especially in difficult terrain.
The tactical amphibious vehicle can travel autonomously between set points on a path that's punched into a computer map by a nearby soldier, the company said. If it meets an obstacle, it can call for help from the operator, who can also take over full manual control of the vehicle.
Northrop Grumman has absolutely no information on TAGS on their website. Neither does the Northrop subsidiary that supposedly developed the robot, Remotec (jesus, people; you're defense contractors, can't you afford a real website?). None of the press releases mentions a company called Autonomous Solutions, but they have a platform they call TAGS (though they say it stands for “Tactical Autonomous Ground System”). It's clear from the photo in this article that the Northrop Grumman/Remotec TAGS is actually the Autonomous Solutions TAGS:
Posted by jjwiseman at August 25, 2005 02:12 PM