Carnegie Mellon and BAE Systems To Hold First Public Demonstration

BY Byron Spice - Fri, 2005-07-29 12:00  Printer-friendly version

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University and BAE Systems, which recently completed its acquisition of United Defense, will hold a public demonstration of Gladiator, the first tactical unmanned ground vehicle being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The demonstration will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at the BAE Systems plant, located on U.S. Route 119 near Connellsville, Pa. U.S. Congressman John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) will be attending the event along with representatives from the U.S. Marines, the university, BAE Systems and other industrial partners.

In February, Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Consortium (NREC) and BAE Systems announced that they had been awarded a $26.4 million system development and demonstration (SDD) contract by the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Program Office/Robotic Systems to design, develop and produce tactical unmanned ground vehicles for the Marines.

Carnegie Mellon is providing the robotics technology and overall design for the Gladiator project, while BAE Systems and its subcontractors will support the design effort, and manufacture and support the vehicle. Gladiator is a tele-operated, semi-autonomous vehicle equipped with remote, unmanned scout, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, specially designed to increase human survival by neutralizing threats and reducing risks for the Marines' Air-Ground Task Force.

"The Gladiator project represents a wonderful opportunity for our region," said Murtha. "Not only does it continue to demonstrate Carnegie Mellon's leadership in robotics, it brings a new line of work to the BAE Systems plant in Fayette County and positions this region to play a strong role in manufacturing unmanned ground vehicles, which will be used in growing numbers by our military forces. Congress has mandated that one-third of all military vehicles must be unmanned by 2015."

Carnegie Mellon and BAE Systems have established a combined program office in Pittsburgh at the NREC facility. Ultimately, as many as 200 Gladiator vehicles could be built for the Marine Corps at BAE's Fayette County Plant.

Media planning to attend should arrive by 10:45 a.m. for check-in. All visitors to the facility must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident alien status, and government-issued identification will be required at sign in. For safety, closed-toe shows and long pants are required on site at BAE Systems in Fayette County.

About the National Robotics Engineering Consortium (NREC)
Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Consortium, part of the Robotics Institute in the School of Computer Science, was established in 1994 with funding from NASA to commercialize the mobile robotic technologies the agency had developed over the years by working directly with American industry. NREC is the nation's leading facility for robotics and autonomous vehicle innovation-to-prototype research. For more information, see www.rec.ri.cmu.edu. For more about the Robotics Institute, see www.ri.cmu.edu.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years and is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defense systems. BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company employs nearly 100,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately $25 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.

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