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Scientific Systems Company Builds Exclusive Team Comprising UAV with Search and Rescue Canine

By CIOReview | Friday, November 20, 2020

SSCI's newly formed Teammate Aware Autonomy (TAA) system was employed with its Collaborative Mission Autonomy (CMA) and Finding Objects thru Closed Loop Understanding of the Scene (FOCUS) software in this vital demonstration.

FREMONT, CA: In pioneering research conducted for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Information Innovation Office (I2O), Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) has established a team composed of a fully autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and a search and rescue canine cooperating without intrusion from a human handler to conduct a simulated search and rescue operation.

SSCI's newly formed Teammate Aware Autonomy (TAA) system was employed with its Collaborative Mission Autonomy (CMA) and Finding Objects thru Closed Loop Understanding of the Scene (FOCUS) software in this vital demonstration.TAA develops predictive models of non-authoritative teammates, in this instance, a canine, that responds to only limited types of commands, helping novel teams encompassed of both autonomous agents and sentient teammates to effectively and competently work together.

TAA-powered teams can combine the benefits and capabilities of autonomous systems, like UAVs, with sentient teammates' unique strengths for which there is no technological replacement. Now working collectively, the autonomous system and the canine dramatically increase the team's undertaking effectiveness. In this matter, the UAV, with a birds-eye view of a landscape and driven by artificial intelligence for locating objects in its scene, can direct the sentient canine teammate that has an unmatched sense of smell.

Erin McGruder, a Certified Canine Handler, member of Missouri Task Force One, and TAA's Canine Search and Rescue Subject Matter Expert, said, "I'm excited for the potential impact of this project. As a canine handler, my ultimate goal is to shape the abilities of a dog to help locate and save lives. This augmentation extends the abilities of the dog past my own limitations of speed and reduces the overall risk of responders."

In this effort, technical research support was given to SSCI by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Interactive Robotics Group,Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and the Oregon State University Autonomous Agents and Distributed Intelligence (AADI) Lab.