Shield AI May Revolutionize Smart Drone Swarms

Shield AI May Revolutionize Smart Drone Swarms

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Shield AI has unveiled its new V-BAT Teams system, which enables more V-BAT drones to work together as a giant swarm. The company reportedly hopes to join the DoD’s “Replicator” initiative.

The V-BAT Teams system will allow V-BAT drones to execute missions autonomously, even in environments with electronic interference. The system allegedly enables the drones to read and react to potential hostiles, environmental conditions, as well as contact other V-BAT drones executing the same mission. Using a combination of a new modular Nvidia GPU upgrade and Shield AI’s proprietary AI-pilot software “Hivemind”- V-BAT Teams could be an industry game changer.

The co-founder and president of Shield AI Brandon Tseng stated: “V-BAT Teams is the first step in intelligent, affordable mass not as a concept, but as an operational product. We’re starting with a team size of four V-BATs, but that number will double annually for the foreseeable future. Four V-BATs that work together in electronic warfare environments and as part of a human-machine team are an incredible force multiplier.”

According to Interesting Engineering, V-BAT Teams enable warfighters to have constant, comprehensive coverage over large geographic regions to find, fix, and target enemy assets in operational, electronically contested areas at an affordable price.

“Intelligent, swarming aircraft [is] the key to air dominance and more importantly, to deterrence. Our nation is faced with the difficult reality that our pilots are too few and the rules-based autonomy solutions are too dumb for such swarms to exist. Shield AI changes this. For almost nine years, Shield AI has focused on building the world’s best AI pilot from a common AI backbone that is relevant and deployable to any aircraft – from quadcopters to F-16s. The technology is ready when we need it most. I’m pleased to announce that intelligent teams of V-BATs, powered by Hivemind, can be purchased today and will be on the battlefield in 2024,” said Tseng.

Tseng further stated that deploying large swarms of drones is not a new phenomenon and is often done at celebratory events like festivals, but that such drones are usually “brittle and dumb” and are likely to fall out of the sky or automatically land if jammed. He further explains that “throwing waves of basic drones at an enemy” is not always practical. “You need intelligent, affordable mass… Mass for the sake of mass is not helpful; it has very low returns,” he added.