The Marine Corps wants to 3D print cheaper drones

Popular Science

With the area surveilled, the aptly-named Scout drone flies back, and suffers a rough landing, snapping a wing. McNeal was one of the people who submitted a proposal to last year's Marine Corps Logistics Innovation Challenge, a program designed to crowdsource ideas about 3D printing and wearable technologies. There, he found the Nomad design, a simple fixed-wing drone design by Alejandro Garcia. In February, the Marine Corps partnered with Autodesk's Pier 9 residency program, and by the time the residency ended in June, McNeal had a new, 3D printed drone prototype, nicknamed "Scout.

BAE systems releases images of driverless mini-tanks

Daily Mail

BAE Systems said its vision of future warfare sees full-size autonomous tanks supported by'fleets of smaller autonomous air and ground vehicles' which create a defensive perimeter. The tanks manoeuvre using rubber caterpillar tracks and BAE systems aims to make them completely autonomous in future, meaning they operate without a human controller. In future they could be equipped with autonomous'friend or foe' tracking software, allowing them to work unmanned The vehicles have an armoured hull that protects them against blast and small arms fire. BAE systems' vision (pictured) sees full-size tanks supported by'fleets of smaller autonomous air and ground vehicles' which create a defensive perimeter (yellow line) around the tank and human troops.

3D printing will revolutionize how the Marine Corps fights


"I don't see this as replacing our current supply chains, but I do see it as a great opportunity to augment existing capabilities," Lt. Col. Gregory Pace, battalion commander of the Marines 1st Maintenance Battalion, told the Marine Corps Times last year. In May, the Corps began field tests of Nibbler, a printed drone designed to serve a similar role as that of Scout. "Our team is very enthusiastic about the Nibbler, but even more enthusiastic about what it represents for the future," Wood told Defense Systems. "If you can deliver raw material and make it into anything, all of a sudden it becomes really interesting to people who manage supply chains," Salvagione observed.



David Axe for the Daily Beast reports The U.S. Marine Corps is around six years away from putting a laser cannon on its trucks, according to one top general. The goal: to outfit ground forces with a weapon that can shoot down enemy aircraft faster and more precisely--and at lower cost--than today's guns and surface-to-air missiles.

Robot maker Boston Dynamics put up for sale by Google, reports say


Google is looking to sell robotics firm Boston Dynamics after concluding that it's unlikely to produce any marketable robot in the next few years, according to people familiar with the company who spoke to Bloomberg News. Those creations include the quadrupedal "Big Dog" robotic mule, its lighter and quieter sibling "Spot" and the bipedal robot "Atlas". And while Google had promised that Boston Dynamics wouldn't take any further military projects, the company still suffered a blow when the US Marine Corps rejected the Big Dog robot, saying it was too noisy for practical use. Boston Dynamics, still headquartered in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, had never fully cohered with the wider company, and without strong leadership, remained distant from the Silicon Valley-based core of Google's robotics division.