Sensing, interoperability, and testing
“Unmanned systems still fall short in three key areas: sensing, testing, and interoperability.” So wrote Dr. Lora G. Weiss, lab chief scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, in “Autonomous Robots in the Fog of War,” published on the IEEE Spectrum webpage.
Testing is especially problematic. “Moving to smarter and more autonomous systems will place an even greater burden on human evaluators and their ability to parse the outcomes of all this testing. But they’ll never be able to assess all possible outcomes, because this would involve an infinite number of possibilities.”
Lora Weiss further notes that “Gaining such insight into a machine is akin to performing a functional MRI on a human brain.” This sounds somewhat similar to comments made by David Bruemmer, VP of 5D Robotics, Inc. Autonomy, Situational Awareness, and the User Interface, Part 2 (OCU Pros, March issue) reports his views as “…human operators may experience greater frustration and less trust with vehicles as they become more autonomous. The lack of transparency in the robot’s motivations can be confusing.”
Also in this issue, we link to an announcement about AMREL’s latest interoperability breakthrough, our new Payload Controller. The same Application Modules that work in our Flexpedient®OCUs can also be used to switch applications in our Payload Controller. This creates an end-to-end interoperable communications subsystem.
Those of you attending AUVSI North America in Washington D.C. this month can get a peek at this groundbreaking Payload Controller. You can also see the ROCKY DB6 and AMREL’s new handheld OCU.
This month’s OCU Pros features an Armed Forces Journal article that argues the Army’s strategy toward robotics needs updating. In addition, we post links about the latest trend in
Improvised Unmanned Ground Vehicles: toy trucks.
See you next month!