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Drone

Raytheon’s BBN Technologies is developing technology to direct and control swarms of small UAS and UGVs, the company announced on 26 March.

The new technology is being developed under DARPA’s Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) programme. The technology will include a visual interface that allows ‘drag and drop’ creation and manipulation of drone tactics; a game-based simulator to evaluate those tactics; and a physical swarm testbed to perform live tactics evaluations. 

The flexible, scalable programming software and simulation environment will enable users to coordinate UV behaviours in teams composed of different vehicle types that use various sensors.

DARPA is inviting organisations to participate in OFFSET as ‘sprinters’. Sprinters can create their own novel swarm tactics and the Raytheon BBN team will work with them to evaluate the tactics in simulation, and possibly field them for live trials.

Shane Clark, ‎research scientist at BBN Technologies and principal investigator on the programme, said: ‘Operators use speech or gestures to control the swarm. This is a tremendous advantage during operations. The system provides sensor feeds and mission status indicators for complete situational awareness.’