Army Research Lab Eyes On-Demand, 3D-Printed Drones With New Project

droneThe U.S. Army Research Laboratory has developed a concept that aims to use mission requirements provided by soldiers in order to build small unmanned aerial systems on demand through 3D printing, the Army reported Wednesday.

The report said the concept involves the use of off-the-shelf and 3D-printed parts and components to develop a UAV through a software that works to produce a computer-aided design of a drone.

A team of researchers at ARL’s vehicle technology directorate has partnered with Georgia Tech’s aerospace systems design lab to develop the software and hardware for the project.

Eric Spero, an acting team lead at ARL’s vehicle technology directorate, said the team’s project aims to address the need for manned-unmanned teaming platforms for use in threat detection missions.

“The solution is envisioned to be available at the battalion level and below, supporting the company, platoon, squad and individual soldier,” he added.

The Army Training and Doctrine Command selected the ARL project for the next phase of experiments as part of the live Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments that will be held in January 2017 at Fort Benning in Georgia.

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