Tiny robots could help urban ops

DARPA Solicitation on 'LANdroid' program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for industry participation in a new program to develop tiny, autonomous ground robots that can act as mobile radio relay nodes during urban operations, according to a June 5 agency announcement.

The program, dubbed LANdroid, envisions a fleet of robots that soldiers can deploy in a city as they move through houses and streets. The idea, DARPA says, is to have these drones form a network capable of relaying radio traffic in a setting often considered challenging for communications equipment.

According to a notional image of a LANdroid included in a DARPA pamphlet, each robot will be about the size of a deck of cards. They must be rugged, lightweight and able to operate for seven to 14 days, the agency said.

The drones also must be inexpensive – about $100 each – so soldiers need not put themselves in danger in order to retrieve them.

DARPA officials will provide information about the program during a July 6 industry day, according to the statement.

Demand for technologies to improve the military’s ability to fight in urban settings has increased in recent years because many of the operations in Iraq take place in Baghdad or other major cities.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.