Intelligent Systems/Mixed Initiatives
Information Science and Technology Directorate
The future battlespace will require an unprecedented level of automation in which soldier-operated, autonomous, and semi-autonomous ground, air and sea platforms along with dismounted soldiers will function as a tightly coupled team. Physical agents, such as robotic sensor and weapons platforms, will be ubiquitous in the future battlefield, significantly lowering the risks to our warfighters thus allowing the army to achieve full-spectrum dominance within the constraints of reduced manpower and casualties. These physical agents are to complement future manned systems and therefore they must be able to collaborate not only amongst themselves but also with their manned partners. Their roles will range from scout missions performing reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition to urban rescue missions. Integrated, multi-agent combat systems will facilitate increased mobility, survivability, sensor coverage, information flow and situation awareness. Much of the current military physical agent interaction and behavior research is focussed on single soldier supervision of either small sets of robots or very large sets of essentially autonomous robots. Leader/follower and swarms applications fall within these areas. There is also ongoing concept development and research of small mixed teams of soldiers and robots interaction, such as in the robotic mule concept to support the Objective Force Warrior where it is envisioned that soldiers and robots jointly are conducting missions within the same battlespace. Visualization and global behavior research supporting highly collaborative mixed teams of soldiers and robots are necessary to bring these concepts to fruition. These agents must perform intelligently in a hostile, uncertain, and dynamically changing environment. The collaborative, dynamic behavior of the physical and software agents must supplement the activities of their human partners. This mixed initiative approach must take advantage of the enormous potential synergy of these, intelligent teams of soldiers, software, and physical agents.
Dr. Philip Emmerman is the Associate Director for Technology of the Information Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. His current major thrusts are battlefield visualization, software agents, and collaborative physical agents. Dr. Emmerman received Harry Diamond Laboratory's Hinman Award in 1983 and the Federal Computer Week FOSE award in 1990. His open systems thrust within the Combat information Processor program fathered the Hawkeye program and its Desert Storm success. He was responsible for the target acquisition and system integration for OSD's Demo 1 program. His visualization program was instrumental in initiating the Army's battlefield visualization thrust.