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Two Defense Tech Firms Sign Deal for AI Military Surveillance Machine
These two leading defense companies have signed a long-term agreement to develop and deliver a cutting-edge aerial surveillance system to detect and track targets in real time.
Australia’s Sentient Vision Systems (Sentient) and US-based Shield AI are creating a system that will be integrated into Shield AI’s V-Bat vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) uncrewed aerial system (UAS) and will use Sentient’s ViDAR AI system.
According to Interesting Engineering, ViDAR, which stands for Visual Detection and Ranging, is an advanced optical sensor that can scan large areas of land or sea and identify objects of interest that are otherwise invisible to the human eye or conventional radar.
Reportedly, the system will also leverage Shield AI’s Hivemind, an AI software that allows the V-Bat UAS to navigate complex environments and adapt to changing scenarios autonomously. Together, ViDAR and Hivemind will enable the UASs to conduct wide-area search missions and react intelligently to targets in dynamic situations.
Shield AI announced in August 2023 that it had completed an autonomous teaming demonstration featuring three V-Bat UAS powered by Hivemind. The demonstration involved monitoring and surveilling simulated wildfires using a multi-agent coordinated team that conducted Detect, Identify, Locate, and Report (DILR) missions in a contingency scenario with dual-use applications.
Brandon Tseng, the President and co-founder of Shield AI, said the demonstration was a step towards achieving “intelligent, affordable mass” that can see everything on the battlefield and execute the mission even when GPS and communications are denied or degraded. He added that this would put all adversaries’ military assets at risk at all times and called it “the holy grail of deterrence.”
He also said that many customers were impressed by the complete and absolute autonomy of actual aircraft that will be deployed imminently, adding that the customers genuinely appreciated that this was “more than talk, computer simulations, or a science project leading nowhere”.