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UIUC, Penn to Lead Research in IoBT

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the University of Pennsylvania have been selected by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) as lead research organizations for two enterprise research programs that will address challenges the military faces in internet-connected, robot-rich congested and contested battlefields.

Through its Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) Collaborative Research Alliance, the army has assembled a team to conduct basic and applied research involving the explosive growth of interconnected sensing and actuating technologies that include distributed and mobile communications, networks of information-driven devices and artificially intelligent services, along with pervasive adversarial challenges. Alliance members leading IoBT research areas include UIUC, University of Massachusetts, University of California-Los Angeles and University of Southern California. Other members include Carnegie Mellon University, University of California-Berkeley and SRI International.

Through its Distributed and Collaborative Intelligent Systems (DCIST) Collaborative Research Alliance (CRA), the army will perform enabling basic and applied research to extend the reach, situational awareness and operational effectiveness of large heterogeneous teams of intelligent systems and soldiers against dynamic threats in complex and contested environments while providing technical and operational superiority through fast, intelligent, resilient and collaborative behaviors. Alliance members include the University of Pennsylvania as the lead research organization. Individual research area leads are MIT and Georgia Tech. Other consortium members are University of California San Diego, University of California Berkeley and University of Southern California.

"Given the complexity of the world and the uncertainties in the world, our biggest priority is ensuring the Army has options available from a materiel point of view – from a technology point of view – where we've reduced uncertainty with technology and identified risk for the operational leadership around issues like the emergence of autonomous systems on the battlefield, for example, so they can make informed decisions about emerging warfighting capability needs 20 to 40 years from now," said Philip Perconti, director of the ARL.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which provides research, development and engineering for defense.

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