The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory showcased and tested the capabilities of the Unmanned Tactical Autonomous Control and Collaboration, April 18–21, 2016, at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

The UTACC is a team of aerial and ground robots using the Distributed Real-time Autonomously Guided Operations Engine (DRAGON) to provide multi-dimensional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to squad-level units.

“Imagine a squad formation where you’re walking in a column or a wedge with robots to the front, overhead and flanks,” said Capt. James Pineiro, the head of MCWL Ground Combat Element Branch. “What they’re providing you is advanced warning of threats, locating enemies and targeting enemies.”

The robots are prototype models to test the capabilities of the DRAGON software in a practical situation. The software enables advanced data sharing and data-to-decision services employing Artificial Intelligence.  With DRAGON’s advanced capabilities, operators communicate to autonomous systems with tasks to perform and not how to perform them.

“We are testing the software and the concept,” said Pineiro. “We’re finding out that the path planning and the mission planning is going great.”   During the demonstration, the robots surveyed a simulated town for insurgents by roving with the ground robot and hovering over obstacles with the aerial robot.

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