Spawar tech transfer program gets $50,000 for robotics

The Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology has given $50,000 to the technology transfer program of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego. The funding is intended to cover improvements to robotic systems at the center.

The money will help the center improve existing robots to make them more intelligent and able to function without human intervention, according to a center announcement issued earlier this week.

The improved systems could be used to find and neutralize explosive devices, provide better surveillance and create maps of areas that are inaccessible to humans.

"There are approximately 2,000 robots in use in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that number is expected to grow to over 4,000 by the end of 2006," said Bart Everett, chief engineer for robotics at the systems center. "The bad news is that our current robots are remote-controlled," demanding human involvement.

The Defense Department sponsors the center’s program, which provides funding and business development to small businesses, government labs and academic researchers with the goal of accelerating the development of technology that DOD and the Homeland Security Department need.

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