Armed Forces News

Pacific Ocean - May 2014: Members of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 conduct bomb disposal robot training in the hangar bay of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paolo Bayas/Released)

The Navy envisions a day in the not-too-distant future when sailors and shipyard workers would no longer would have to perform some of the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs. To bring that moment a step nearer to reality, representatives from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently took part in a meeting with colleagues from the military robotics community.

The conference, known as Joint Summit: Robotics in Sustainment (JROBOT), took place at the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute in Pittsburgh. The institute is a Pentagon-sponsored consortium of government, academia and industry stakeholders in robotics technologies.


The participants focused this year’s JROBOT – the second of its kind – upon sustainment.

“If we can’t maintain our assets, they’re not helping our warfighters,” said Paul Huang, a program manager with ONR’s Navy Manufacturing Technology Program. They came away from the summit with the following accomplishments:

* Recommendations that the armed forces include robotics as a means of addressing sustainment issues – to include the acquisition, training and fielding of such systems.

* New job descriptions for the robotic work force, to focus on recruitment and retention of personnel who have the skills necessary to do the job well. They came up with three new robotics job categories: mechanic, operator and engineering technician.

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