CRA to build hands-free robotic interface for U.S. Army
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Intelligent-systems developer Charles River Analytics (CRA) has announced a follow-on contract to build a hands-free human-machine interface (HMI) for the U.S. Army. The contract will be in force for two years and is valued at $1 million.
The project -- known as Supervisory HMI Enabling Practical Autonomous Robot Direction, or SHEPARD -- fuses multiple proven robot control technologies to provide a natural and reliable hands-free HMI for soldiers operating in different kinds of environments, some of which can be very challenging.
SHEPARD offers a way of more natural and reliable communication so commanders can issue instructions directly to unmanned vehicles (UxVs), said Stan German, senior scientist at Charles River Analytics. "Under the effort, we are building a hands-free HMI that combines speech and gestures to enable reliable command and control of multiple unmanned vehicles. SHEPARD will use smart devices -- like a watch -- for easy communication with military robots. SHEPARD will reduce the cognitive burden on warfighters and their commanders, increase trust within human-robot teams, and accelerate the adoption of UxVs, helping to remove warfighters from harm’s way."