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Sikorsky Aircraft last year launched the Matrix Technology research program to develop, test, and field systems and software that will improve the capability, reliability, and safety of flight for autonomous, optionally piloted, and piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Sikorsky, NREC partner for Matrix application to demonstrate U.S. Army autonomous UGV delivery

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has been awarded a demonstration project with the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) of Carnegie Mellon University to demonstrate an autonomous delivery of an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) by an optionally piloted Black Hawk helicopter enabled with Matrix Technology. The UGV will subsequently execute a mission to investigate a potentially contaminated area, while keeping human personnel out of harm's way. The project is an 18-month program sponsored by the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) through the Robotics Technology Consortium. The NREC-led "Extending the Reach of the Warfighter Through Robotics" effort launched in March and will culminate with a final demonstration in September 2015. The NREC is providing the UGV, a modified Land Tamer all-terrain vehicle that uses key elements of several NREC autonomy systems to support on- and off-road autonomous exploration. The team of unmanned ground and air vehicles will autonomously survey sites with suspected chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear contamination.

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