Land Warfare Conference
Brig. Gen. John Seward, U.S. Army Pacific deputy commander, talks to Brig. Gen. Rerden, Australian Army, before touring the exhibition the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

BRISBANE, Australia - The Land Warfare Conference, an event that highlights the defense industry's newest equipment to meet battle contingencies, recognized advances in skilled robotics recently at the Brisbane Convention Center.

Brig. Gen. John Seward, U.S. Army Pacific deputy commanding general, attended the conference to meet with senior U.S. and Australian speakers, and attend meetings with providers, academics, designers and manufacturers exchanging new ideas on land systems.

The theme of this year's conference, "Full Spectrum Threats: Adaptive Responses," touted advances in robotic technology, the Multi-Autonomous Ground Robotic International Challenge (MAGIC).

The joint project started several years ago as a challenge during a meeting between the U.S. Army, represented by the deputy assistant secretary of the army for Defense Export and Cooperation, and the Australian director general for Land Development.

MAGIC evolved into a competition between 26 countries. It focused on designing an autonomous robotic ground vehicle that can function in groups of three or more with minimal input from an operator.

Jointly funded by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization, five finalists; three from the U.S. and one from Turkey and Australia, competed Nov. 8-12 in southern Australia.

Each finalist ran robot teams through several different events designed to test different functions, such as mapping, reconnaissance, identification of items or terrain features. The winning entry came from Michigan University and received a $750,000 grant for further research.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16