31 Jul '14, 1pm

Robocopters Haul Tons of Stuff in Afghanistan, Return Home Victorious

In December of 2011, the U.S. Marines took delivery of a pair of Kaman K-MAX helicopters that Lockheed Martin had modified for autonomous cargo delivery . But after the robot helicopters were sent to Afghanistan, we heard nothing more about the program. Until now. Apparently the testing program was extraordinarily successful, which is good news for the U.S. military's plan to replace as many humans as possible with robots . The autonomous K-MAX robocopters were originally scheduled to spend just six weeks in Afghanistan undergoing evaluation as they delivered pallets of cargo to remote bases. But the robots did such a fantastic job that their contract with the Marine Corps was extended indefinitely. It only ended (after nearly three years) because the Marines require less logistical support now. Two K-MAX helicopters were modified by Lockheed to be optionally manned, meani...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/military-robo...

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