Raytheon sponsors futuristic research center
New Caltech lab will build next-gen autonomous systems
Raytheon and Caltech are building the future together.
The company is lead sponsor for the new Center for Autonomous Systems and Technology, or CAST, a research facility at Caltech advancing the science of bio-inspired systems and autonomous technologies like drones. The mission: Improve the working relationship between robots and the human operators that control them.
CAST is a 10,000-square-foot lab that will employ dozens of researchers and scientists from Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It includes an assembly room with an 85-foot track for walking robots, an aerospace robotics control lab and a three-story, enclosed aerodrome for testing drones.
“Making smart investments in autonomy is an imperative for the aerospace and defense industry,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, a Raytheon Company vice president and president of its Missile Systems business. “While we have made great strides, our work with Caltech CAST and JPL will be structured to transition autonomous systems from concept to creation in some new and exciting applications.”
Some research will be directed to topics of high interest to Raytheon, including autonomous navigation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, machine vision, hypersonics and communications. The company has assembled a team of senior engineers to adapt CAST-developed technologies for the company.
“The goal of this new initiative is to teach autonomous systems to think independently and react accordingly, preparing them for the rigors of the world outside of the lab,” said CAST Director Mory Gharib in a release.
As part of the sponsorship, Caltech graduate students and researchers may participate in work performed at Raytheon.