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US Marines to Receive Controllers for Multiple Drones From AeroVironment

Drone company AeroVironment has received a $2.67-million contract to supply Tomahawk robotic controller prototypes for the US Department of Defense.

The agreement will deliver the Grip Tab Active, a variant of the Tomahawk’s unmanned system console equipped with metallic casing, rugged design, and military-hardened buttons and joysticks.

It is integrated into a smartphone device for real-time control and monitoring of autonomous deployment on the battlefield.

Grip Tab Active is compatible with the Tomahawk’s RAID universal tactical kit, a chest-worn, AI-enabled system with advanced networking, a submersible chassis, modules for precision strikes, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.

Once shipped, the controller prototypes and corresponding test kits will be leveraged by the US Department of Defense “to evaluate the technical capabilities for future operations.”

The large-screen tablet controller will also be used for other programs under the US Marine Corps Force Design 2030, an initiative seeking modernized technologies to sustain the expeditionary warfighter advantage in the next decade.

Tomahawk Robotics
Tomahawk Robotics’ universal Grip controller with Kinesis common control software. Photo: Tomahawk Robotics

Enabling a Wider Perspective

According to AeroVironment, the Grib Tab Active controllers will be part of the broader Kinesis Ecosystem, a network of manned-unmanned systems incorporating more than 20 robotic systems, input devices, and AI-enhanced equipment.

This setup offers “multi-domain, many-to-many UxV operations” using one user interface, allowing military users to conveniently manage various drone assets.

“AeroVironment is excited to deliver these systems to the [Department of Defense],” AeroVironment Tomahawk Robotics Product Line Manager Scott Bowman stated.

“The tablet-based Grip Tab Active Controller will provide a larger viewing area and dedicated safety functions to operate large vehicles and weapon systems, all while maintaining the low-profile, ruggedized design our customers have come to expect from the Tomahawk product line.”

“This controller will improve operator efficiency and unlock new use cases such as fire control and sensor-to-shooter.”

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