The US Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) at Fort Benning, Georgia recently provided a glimpse into the future of combat as robotic and autonomous systems worked together as robotic “wingmen” in simulated combat operations.
The Maneuver Robotics and Autonomous Systems (MRAS) demonstration conducted on August 22 was the first such event in a three-year program aimed at bringing together robotic combat vehicles and unmanned aerial systems (UASs) to improve ground combat formations.
According to the Army, MRAS is a joint operation between the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center and the Office of Naval Research. The purpose is to pair UASs and unmanned ground systems as a way to extend the range and engagement time of ground forces while reducing the risk to flesh and blood soldiers.
To illustrate current progress in the field, the MCoE staged ground maneuvers using a Humvee and an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier with the human crews replaced by experimental robotic systems, turning them into cybernetic “wingmen.”