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U.S. Army’s Robotics Rodeo III Scheduled for May 2012 at Fort Benning

POSTED 09/28/2011

. Army Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Mich. – Following successful events in 2009 and 2010 that brought together the robotics industry, Soldiers and defense decision makers in a unique way, the U.S. Army will hold a third Robotics Rodeo in May 2012 at Fort Benning near Columbus, Ga. Robotics Rodeo III is again co-hosted by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Fort Benning’s Maneuver Battle Lab.

Robotics Rodeo III is an opportunity for scientists and engineers from government and industry to demonstrate new and innovative unmanned ground systems to both the U.S. Army user community and the research and development communities. The opportunity for industry members to interact with experienced Soldiers and demonstrate their technologies to these end-users has proven to be incredibly valuable, according to U.S. Army Senior Research Scientist-Robotics, TARDEC’s Dr. Jim Overholt.

“By holding this Robotics Rodeo in 2012, the Army has waited a little more time for technologies to mature,” explained Overholt. “And, for this iteration, the Training and Doctrine Command will actively participate making Robotics Rodeo III exponentially more valuable to industry and – most importantly – our Soldiers.”
Robotics Rodeo III will again have two opportunities for demonstration: an Extravaganza and the Robotic Technology Observation, Demonstration and Discussion (RTOD2).

The Robotics Rodeo Extravaganza, which is open to the public, provides a single point of contact for networking opportunities among Soldiers and industry/government representatives. It is also an opportunity to discuss robotics with key government decision makers, visit vendor booths and view freestyle demonstrations.

RTOD2, conversely, is a closed event. For the first time, the RTOD2 portion will follow a theme: Combat Outpost. For the demonstration, “vignettes” will be constructed around outpost scenarios that directly relate to Soldier needs. This format provides an opportunity to demonstrate technology to government stakeholders seeking to identify and leverage industry investments in advanced technologies. Vignettes were shaped with the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC).

Continuous updates and registration details will be available at www.tardec.info/roboticsrodeo.

The initial Robotics Rodeo took place in August 2009 with III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. The second Rodeo took place in October 2010 at Fort Benning.

TARDEC is the focal point for all Defense Department ground robotics systems. In addition to the Robotics Rodeos, TARDEC recently co-hosted the inaugural Multi Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge – MAGIC – in Australia.

More details were presented at the Robotics Rodeo III Industry Day Sept. 26, 2011, at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal.

Fort Benning and The Maneuver Center provides trained, adaptive and ready Soldiers and leaders for an Army at War. Further, they develop future requirements for the individual Soldier and maneuver force. www.benning.army.mil.


The Army Capabilities Integration Center leads the development and integration of force capabilities across the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) for the Army within a Joint and Multinational environment to support Joint Force Commanders. www.arcic.army.mil/arcic.html

Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, TARDEC is the Nation’s laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Department of Defense (DOD) manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems. With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC is a full life-cycle, systems engineering support provider-of-first-choice for all DOD ground combat and combat support weapons, equipment and vehicle systems. TARDEC develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve Current Force effectiveness and provides superior capabilities for Future Force integration. TARDEC’s technical, scientific and engineering staff lead cutting-edge research and development in Ground Systems Survivability; Power and Mobility; Ground Vehicle Robotics; Force Projection; and Vehicle Electronics and Architecture. TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.