News: DARPA, Honeywell Harness AR & VR to Develop Windowless Mini-Tanks

DARPA, Honeywell Harness AR & VR to Develop Windowless Mini-Tanks

Honeywell recently completed successful testing of virtual window technology that enabled drivers to maneuver an otherwise windowless combat vehicle on rough terrain at speeds exceeding 35 miles per hour.

The testing was conducted under contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) project, which began in 2015 to develop a lightweight, highly agile stealth vehicle with maximum armor and minimal crew.

Augmented and virtual reality makes it possible to maximize protection, replacing windows with a 160-degree battlefield display that acts as a virtual window

Image by DARPA/YouTube

"We leveraged our expertise in high-speed graphics processing, human factors design, and display systems to create a virtual landscape that enables driving a windowless vehicle over actual terrain at operationally realistic speeds," said Brian Aleksa, senior technical manager of research and development at Honeywell Aerospace via a news release.

The project could ultimately lead to a full 360-degree battlefield view, as well as augmented reality features that improve situational awareness, with a headset serving up key information, such as route guidance and enemy detection, so that the vehicle can be operated using less manpower.

Image by DARPA/YouTube

"After bringing a smart design to life with real-world testing, we've developed a windowless display that overcomes traditional challenges associated with motion sickness and eye strain," said Aleksa. "Our solution proves that a safer closed-cockpit experience is possible."

Cover image via DARPA

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