Charles River Analytics receives funding to enhance its MANTA system



Through the US Army’s Combat Vehicle Robotics (CoVeR) program, Charles River Analytics Inc. has received funding to enhance its Modular Appliqué Enabling Natural Teaming with Autonomy (MANTA) system.

The goal of the CoVeR program is to develop technologies that support scalable integration of multi-domain robotic and autonomous systems. Along those lines, MANTA, described as a “platform-independent, natural control and autonomy robot appliqué,” allows a user to easily direct or more host platforms to perform various autonomous behaviors.

“MANTA is one of our autonomy components built on mission-focused artificial intelligence that can integrate with current and evolving platforms,” says Rich Wronski, vice president of Charles River’s Sensing, Perception and Applied Robotics Division.

“By integrating our reliable, adaptable robotic subsystems with their existing platforms, our customers can achieve sought-after mission-level autonomy for single, tele-operated platforms as well as multi-platform, collaborative robotic teams that self-organize around high-level objectives and commands.”

Robotic systems equipped with the hardware/software appliqué can perform any behavior supported by platform capabilities. They can also share and access information with other vehicles equipped with the appliqué.

These platforms can be controlled using silent gesture-based commands, such as follow-me, stop, and relocate to a different position. More complex speech-based commands such as “monitor the back of the red building for activity,” “give me a close-up view of that white van,” and “emplace a remote sensing device in Zone 2,” can also be used to control the platforms.

“With MANTA, our human-machine interface enables Commanders to issue instructions to one or more unmanned robotic systems using the same natural communication method that they use with human personnel,” explains Camille Monnier, principal scientist at Charles River Analytics and principal investigator on the MANTA effort.

“Our contributions in manned-unmanned teaming, or MUM-T, enable leap-ahead capabilities in mission-level autonomy.”

Charles River Analytics will be at Booth 419 during Xponential 2019.