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Lockheed Martin’s Silver Fox UAV
Lockheed Martin successfully controls four unmanned devices from a single control point

Lockheed Martin is proud to announce it has successfully tested a new centralized controller device for unmanned vehicles. The successful tests enable the military to further expand the deployment of unmanned vehicles with less input from personnel.

With Lockheed Martin's system, an operator is able to control as many as four different unmanned vehicles from a single laptop touch screen and hand controller.

"This is a very important step in risk reduction for the Army’s Future Combat System Centralized Controller Device," said Gene Holleque of Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control division.  "This test proves Lockheed Martin and its industry partners are resolving the issues involved with controlling several disparate unmanned systems from a single centralized controller.  It also gives us an opportunity to experiment with human factors early in the process to ensure we can deliver an effective and soldier-friendly controller to the warfighter."

A number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) were featured in Lockheed Martin's tests. The vehicles included the Lockheed Martin Silver Fox, Roll Based Operations Architecture robot and the Lockheed Martin UGV demonstrator. Also used were UHF, L-band and wireless broadband radio links used in conjunction with the Combat Maneuver Mission Route Planner (CMMRP) to control the unmanned vehicles.

Unmanned vehicles appear to be the wave of the future when it comes to the United States military. The government is pumping millions of dollars into research and every penny is worth if it means that human pilots/operators aren't put into harm’s way.

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RE: Am I missing something?
By Aikouka on 12/13/2006 3:13:26 PM , Rating: 3
Trust me when I say there's a lot more that goes into these than your average RF-controlled toy plane :P. Although the Lawn Mower-esque engine on the front kind of gives you that toy idea.

Also, you mentioned the government pumping money into the program... I thought I read a month or so ago that the government was looking to cut money from the unmanned flight program because of recent failures.

One thing that was a bit freaky was this:

Lockheed Martin is currently experimenting with control of the iRobot Corporation’s PackBot from the same centralized controller.

Where's Will Smith when you need him!

RE: Am I missing something?
By dubldwn on 12/13/2006 4:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it seems like we are way behind where we should be with this type of tech .

We should have robots everywhere. Why are there still employees at burger king? I could see making people's food (to order), currency exchange, and everthing else being automated, and monitored by one person. My grocery store has one person monitoring 8 automated checkouts. We should need a lot less people in the service industry.

Hey, if a manufacturing society turns into the service society, what does a service society turn into? Fat?

RE: Am I missing something?
By Zirconium on 12/13/2006 6:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, if a manufacturing society turns into the service society, what does a service society turn into? Fat?

Detroit. The sad truth is that while it is nice that automation will get rid of all the menial jobs eventually, what will happen to the people without the aptitude/motivation to get an education? Welfare? Also, it has been shown statistically that poor people are more likely to be overweight, so I guess you were right.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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