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Developing artificial intelligence and autonomy in the realm of self-driving cars has been easier in the commercial world where a large amount of data is available in terms of maps, roads, infrastructure, to plug into systems. But where the Army often operates, there’s almost none of that predictability. General Electric’s Research Lab set a little autonomous robot is an example of such technology.

The robot is part of the ARL program SARA – Scalable Adaptive Resilient Autonomy Program, which is an Army effort to demonstrate “risk-aware” autonomous ground vehicles capable of navigating safely in complex, off-road test conditions. GE was one of eight funded projects — with all the rest going to academia — by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in a path to get after autonomous vehicle navigation in complex terrain, where lessons learned and technology could affect next-generation combat vehicles.

Using its “Humble AI” technology, which makes artificial intelligence more human by programming into the robot a sense of its capabilities and limitations, GE was able to give the machine the ability to step back and assess uncertain situations, according to The robot has the ability to decipher known and unknown paths when navigating; gathering information using camera data, LIDAR sensing capability, odometry and other measurements to make decisions on which way to go.These systems will also need to learn in real-time and adapt their models. 

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