Autonomy on the Ocean
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  Bob Touchton   Bob Touchton
Chief Autonomy Scientist
Leidos Maritime Systems Division


Wednesday, February 1, 2017
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Level:  Business/Strategic

Autonomous vehicles are not just to be found on the road, nor is unmanned warfighting only conducted from the air. Leidos and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have partnered to design and build an autonomous, unmanned anti-submarine ship named the Sea Hunter (also known as the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV). The Sea Hunter will provide a revolutionary capability that can reduce mission cost and risk.  This presentation offers an overview of the ACTUV Program, the characteristics of the Sea Hunter vessel, and the autonomy architecture and behaviors that had to be designed in order to meet maritime collision regulations compliance. It will also discuss the test and evaluation process.  The technologies developed on this program will prove invaluable, and can be applied broadly in future government and industrial capabilities for autonomous and unmanned platforms.

Dr. Bob Touchton is the Chief Autonomy Scientist for the Leidos Maritime Systems Division. Current responsibilities include technical lead on autonomy-related IRaD and autonomous systems Subject Matter Expert on numerous Leidos projects and initiatives with over 40 years of experience in technology innovation and leadership, engineering, software development, and project management, spanning autonomous robotics, artificial intelligence, decision support systems, and intelligent control. He has led and participated in numerous robotic, autonomous perception and control, and unmanned system projects and was a Finalist at all three DARPA Grand/Urban Challenge Events.

Past positions include: Department Head, Autonomy, Perception and Cognition, ARL Penn State; VP Business Innovation and Robotics, Prioria Robotics; and Managing Director, Autonomous Systems, Honeywell Business Innovation Center. In 1984, Dr. Touchton co-founded PathTech Software Solutions and served as CTO.

His degrees include a BS in Nuclear Engineering from UF (1974), an MS in Nuclear Engineering from CMU (1977), an MS in Computer Science from UNF (1995), and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UF (2006).

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