Army’s Shark Tank-style innovation levels of competition is now open to other providers

More than the previous year, the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps has held an innovation obstacle dubbed “Dragon’s Lair.” Soldiers have pitched their concepts to make improvements to all the things from assortment time management, to going downed automobiles, to making use of augmented reality in a helicopter cockpit.

The XVIII Corps lately opened up the competitors to other companies and acquired a flood of ideas.

The existing spherical is now currently being winnowed down to finalists who will occur to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, or participate through remote online video, in a “Shark Tank” style Q&A session with XVIII Corps leaders and topic issue experts.

Of the 104 complete submissions, 61 arrived from the Air Pressure, 11 from the Navy, three from Area Force and 29 from soldiers, stated Col. Joe Buccino, XVIII Corps spokesman.

Seems to be like the Marines don’t want to enjoy this time around.

Past winners have obtained a 4-working day liberty move, the Military schooling faculty of their option and a Meritorious Assistance Medal.

Military Times previously wrote about Army 1st Lt. Mahdi Al-Husseini, a Black Hawk pilot with 3rd Battalion, 25th Beat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, who gained the level of competition in September with his digicam and touch display pill-primarily based tool for quick pilot/driver performance feedback.

In November 2020 Military Spc. Trevor Cross with the 101st Airborne Division gained the competitiveness with a less complicated forklift trailer attachment to assist use forklifts in its place of Humvees to shift items these types of as turbines around the motor pool.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Walker is presently assigned to the U.S. Transportation Command. He spoke with Military Times just lately about his submission to the competitiveness.

The former area warfare officer first enlisted in the Navy in 2001 right before attending the U.S. Naval Academy and commissioning in 2008. While serving aboard ship he famous a prevalent challenge — total blind places in many regions of the vessel from the bridge.

For those landlubbers out there, the bridge is the most important place the place the ship’s captain and crew command the vessel.

Walker, who is also a laptop programmer, started off doing work on a project known as Ocean Augmented Reality applying Google Glass as the system. That job showed how digital reality could be utilised to accomplish distant maintenance help on ships.

The thought was to be able to choose any upkeep-qualified sailor, have them put on the glasses and then walk them by troubleshooting or repairs any place in the ship from one more spot.

Walker thought the exact tech could be made use of to “see” sections of the ship that have been invisible from the bridge.

Along the way, Walker and other like-minded Navy AR lovers set jointly an ad hoc “Navy Augmented Fact Consortium” to integrate AR into various Navy assignments.

Walker crafted a proposal he phone calls “Augmented Bridge” to remedy the commander’s blind spot trouble. He pitched it at a past Navy League Sea, Air, Room exposition, but it was not picked up for a total-fledge venture.

“You could have anyplace from six to 15 men and women driving the bridge of a warship,” he claimed. “The greatest challenge is it is difficult for one particular person to keep recognition of all the things heading on at a single time.”

He sees his solution as supplying “continuous, tailorable access” to the point person, or look at-stander, offering them accessibility to all information and facts that everybody else has when and how they will need it.

For Military-concentrated missions, it can get the job done relatively like a digital sand desk or a method for a commander to create a prevalent running image across a battlespace.

The project sat dormant for a couple yrs till Walker saw a article on LinkedIn about the Dragon’s Lair opposition getting opened up to other expert services and decided to toss his thought into the mix.

In excess of the subsequent 7 days, XVIII Airborne Corps staff will sift by means of that proposal, and many others, before they select as few as five to be presented to the Shark Tank.

Todd South has written about criminal offense, courts, government and the armed service for several publications due to the fact 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-composed challenge on witness intimidation. Todd is a Maritime veteran of the Iraq War.