Click for next page ( 2

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 1
1 HISTORY AND SCOPE OF ANTS PROJECT THE ORIGINAL COMMITTEE ' S 1983 REPORT In 1982 and 1983, a 16-member committee of the National Research Council ' s Manufacturing Studies Board 1. reviewed U.S. Axmy activities in robotics and artificial intelligence, and 2. described expected developments in those fields over the next 5- and 10-year periods. The result of that co"~ittee's study was the report, Applications of Robotics to Reduce Risk and Improve Effectiveness, released in October 1983. In its report, the committee stressed the significant contribution that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics potentially can make to Army operations. The report also established criteria for the selection of AI and robotics projects to fund, and suggested three primary and three secondary projects based on those criteria. The committee noted that . these technologies can enable the Army to improve combat capabilities, minimize exposure of personnel to hazardous environments, increase mission flexibility, increase system reliability, reduce unit/life cycle costs, reduce manpower requirements, simplify training." 1

OCR for page 1
2 For the Army to realize these benefits, the committee recommended the development of some short-term demonstra- tors that could be progressively upgraded. The committee offered the following criteria for selecting specific demonstrators: the project should meet clear army needs, a demonstration should be possible within 2 to 3 years, the project should use the best state-of-the-art technology available, and computer capacity should be sufficient for future upgrades. An additional consideration IS that the selected projects could form a base for acquainting Axmy personnel at all levels with these new and revolutionary technol- ogies. As upgraded, the applications would need to be capable of operating in a hostile environment. The selection of specific applications of these technologies was appropriately left to the Axmy. The committee did, however, suggest that the following applications met the criteria: ". The Automatic Loader of Ammunition in Tanks, using a robotic arm to replace the human loader of ammunition in a tank. We recommend that two contrac- tors work simultaneously for 2 to 2-1/2 years at a total cost of $4 to $5 million per contractor. ~ The Surveillance/Sentry Robot, a portable, possibly mobile platform to detect and identify movement of troops. Funded at $5 million for 2 to 3 years, the robot should be able to include two or more sensor modalities. ~ The Intelligent Maintenance. Diagnosis. and Repair System in its initial form ~S1 million over 2 years), will be an interactive trainer. Within 3 years, for an additional $5 million, the system should be expanded to diagnose and suggest repairs for common breakdowns, recommend whether or not to repair, and record the repair history of a piece of equipment. If additional funds are available, . . . the medical expert system, the flexible material-handling modules, and the battalion information system are also well worth doing."

OCR for page 1
3 ACTIVITIES OF THIS COMMITTEE At the request of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (Research, Development, and Acquisition), eight of the original committee members convened in 1986 to review Army activities in developing and implementing robotics and artificial intelligence. The committee considered not only responses to its 1983 report, but also new issues in the Army's programs and technical advances since 1983. The new committee met twice in calendar year 1986 and visited four sites where members viewed planned or potential Army applications in action. An update was given to the committee in early 1987. The committee believes that the recommendations of its earlier report are not only still valid, but even more applicable today. The declining percentage of 19- to 21-year-olds in the population, and the nation's continu- ing reliance on technologically superior weapons rather than numerically superior weapons, underscore both the continuing need and the opportunity for the Army to apply robotics and artificial intelligence to its operations. Because those technologies have advanced since the committee wrote its original report, the Army can draw on even more industry and university experience. During the nearly 4 years that have passed, Army activity An these technologies has increased in quantity and visibility. While the Army's budget for robotics (S25 million in FY 1987) and AI (S20 million in FY 1987) is still much less than its need, Army activities in this area have acquired momentum. The committee found that at present, the Army's two greatest needs in implementing AI and robotics are for increased education at all levels and for high-level leadership to coordinate and support these programs. Nonetheless, the Army's progress is reflected not Only in the specific projects but also in a more general awareness of the technologies and issues concerning their use. Broader issues of program management--including deci- sions about how long to develop technologies in parallel, internal vs. external development, and when to build a prototype--were beyond the scope of this committee. As the Army's AI and robotics programs continue to grow, such issues will also grow in importance. This report summarizes the committee's assessment of the Army's recent progress in AI and robotics and makes recommendations that will help the Army exploit these important technologies. Progress on specific 1983 recommendations is shown in Table 1.

OCR for page 1
4 TABLE 1 Summary of Army Progress in Robotics and AI, 1983-1987 l _ 1983 RECOMMENDATION 1987 STATUS 1. Start using available 1. Some progress, but technology now short-term applications are still underfunded 2. Start with a few 2. The focus on 3 robotic short-term applica- projects is responsive tions that are to this recommendation likely to succeed and highly commendable 3. Plan for long-term 3. Results are mixed; the upgrades Advanced Ground Vehicle Technology has a good long-term plan but not a good short-term ver- sion; the Teleoperated Mobile Anti-Armor (TMAP) Program has both 4. Increase visibility of 4. Much progress made in AI & robotics programs past year 5. Automatic loader of 5. Generic Auto-Loader ammunition in tanks System is responsive . to recommendation 6. Surveillance/sentry 6. TMAP development is robot well under way 7. Intelligent mainte- 7. Hawk Missile Dance, diagnosis, and Maintenance Tutor repair system ~ is responsive