Army Scientists Work on Urban Combat Robot That Can Be Controlled With Hand Gestures

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December 17, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: December 17 on

New technologies being developed by the United States and its partners seek to tackle age-old challenges that troops face when they enter the multidimensional nightmare that is urban combat.

One such device that technicians put through its paces is a robotic platform that soldiers or Marines can guide by using hand and body movements to enter buildings, tunnels, or other areas to navigate and map in either a guided or autonomous mode, according to an Army release.

That device was tested out by developers this past July in New York City during the third annual Contested Urban Environment Strategic Challenge, or CUE. The first was held in 2017 in Adelaide, Australia, and the second took place last year in Montreal, Canada. Next year’s is planned for a not-yet-identified city in the United Kingdom.

Groups from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have participated in the event, which is dubbed a technical cooperation program that focuses on contested urban environments. Other participants included the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Lab, Armaments Center, the Engineer and Research Center, and the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center.

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