BITSCore has tested its satellite tasking software on a new class of assets, this time on maritime vessels during an Australian Navy exercise.
The new tests come just weeks after the software was tested on the international space station and on a rocket launched from western Queensland.
They were conducted during the Australian Navy’s Exercise Phoenix, an Autonomous Warrior (AW) activity. AW aims to discover new and disruptive technologies capable of transforming Navy capability.
BITSCore’s EVNTS tasking market software allows human operators to task assets such as surface or underwater unmanned vessels, and then have one or many vessels undertake those tasks.
BITSCore CEO Dr David Hyland-Wood said the EVNTS algorithms solve the biggest current problem for autonomous systems and artificial intelligence integration – the confusion between what needs to be done with how to do it.
“Our software allows a single operator to task many assets with a task, and the system lets the assets go and do the task autonomously – it can be many assets and many tasks.”
“One test autonomously placed a vessel with a camera for a surveillance task, while the other tasked a vessel capable of conducting sonar mapping.”
“EVNTS helps the operator who wants a task done find the asset capable of undertaking the task – and one or many assets go off and do the task.
“And that same technology can be applied across satellites, unmanned vehicles, or many types of autonomous assets.”
The two Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV) used in the activity belonged to Queensland company Australian Droid and Robot (ADR).
Chief Technical Officer and founder of ADR, Dr Dawid Preller said the demonstration builds on their strategy of “Safety by Separation”, where robots can conduct hazardous tasks remotely.
“Current operations require personnel to enter hazardous areas to conduct ISR missions; for example, crewed mine sweepers must enter mine fields to search for and to neutralise threats,”
Dr Preller said.
“These operations are hazardous and time consuming due to the one-on-one nature of the work,” he said.
“Our ASV solution is able to execute these tasks remotely and autonomously, without putting people at risk.”
“The collaboration between our companies provided a ‘tasking market’ to the Navy operators where tasks (such as scanning the dock to detect IEDs) can be queued and prioritised and assigned to robots.”
“This makes the technology accessible and easy to use with minimum operator training requirements.”