Thursday, May 8, 2008

UK's "Grand Challenge"

Mehmet Ali Erbil of Middlesex University poses for photographs with an unmanned flying vehicle for reconnaissance during a Ministry of Defense competition in central London Wednesday April 30 2008. The competition aimed at encouraging scientists inve ...

The British Ministry of Defense's first ever "Grand Challenge" intends to encourage participants to turn their ideas into prototypes for machines the army can use in urban environments.

The six finalists, who each received $600,000 to build such contraptions as a disc-shaped remote-controlled flying robots fitted with heat and motion sensors, were in London last week to display their models.

From Swarm Systems Ltd. comes a set of tiny helicopters that fly in formation into a village and record images and audio tracks to beam back to headquarters. And British aeronautical company BAE Systems teamed up with the University of Manchester to build a self-propelled, remote-controlled camera.

The Silicon Valley Group PLC, a small research company in southeast Britain, teamed with the Bruton School for Girls in Somerset to build an unmanned buggy that can analyze gunmen's movements to determine whether they are angry or nervous.

Finalists will take part in a mock battle in August in Copehill Down, a village built near Stonehenge for military training during the Cold War. The contestants will have their machines search for pretend gunmen and mock bombs, earning points for each find and losing points for hitting civilians or transmitting data too slowly.

Article Link (Physorg)

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