Shield AI is a small startup based in San Diego that received a contract from the US Air Force at the end of January as part of the Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) program. Ultimately, its value may reach as much as USD 60 million for the implementation of a series of projects using the proprietary Hivemind autonomous platform. All this to first create an autonomous drone swarm for the US Air Force, and then connect even jet planes (including fighters).
Autonomous drone swarm for the US Air Force
Hivemind is to be an example of an extensive artificial intelligence system that the company is developing to control virtually everything that (implicitly) years old. Therefore, Shield AI will first integrate the Hivemind system with many of its own-made V-Bat drones, and if all goes to plan, then it may be given the green light to start the preparatory work for the placement of Hivemind in the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developed by Beta Technologies.
Shield AI is of course not the only company that develops this technological base for the American military. The US military is still running development programs for a swarm of drones (Gremlin or Perdix), but the unique feature of Shield AI is that it focuses directly on system optimization so that a single drone is intelligent and can learn from field experiences.
Instead of having a squad of novice players, let’s build one professional player, then multiply that by the entire squad and make them work together.
Explains the co-founder of the company, Brandon Tseng for Breaking Defense.
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Schedule? Obtaining a swarm of 3-5 V-BAT drones for operation and production by the end of 2023, and then gradually increasing the size of the swarm to about 10 in 2024 and to 30 drones in 2025. If successful, the Air Force could approve the next phase of the contract, where Shield AI would start working on basic simulations to make Beta Technologies’ ALIA a fully autonomous eVTOL aircraft.