Lockheed Martin opens new “robot” facility in Littleton

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LITTLETON, Colo. -- One glance at Lockheed Martin's new building in Littleton may not impress you. It's what's going on inside that will turn your head.

Lockheed Martin has been in the business of aerospace and defense technology for over 100 years.

Now most of Lockheed's attention is on autonomous technology and systems. "We take systems or vehicles, land systems, airborne systems, and we can teach them how to do things that humans can do," Scott Greene, Vice President of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems for Lockheed Martin said.

The United States Army is very interested in Lockheed's autonomous applications.

Taking soldiers out of harm's way sounds pretty good, "We think the safety of the human being is first and foremost," Greene said.

Autonomous vehicles also allow operators of mundane jobs to be used elsewhere. "You can take that individual and give them a more value-added task and then that individual can contribute more to whatever organization or whatever team he or she is working on."

Helicopters, planes, watercraft, submarines ... the applications are many. And the crossover into the commercial realm. "Mines, railroads, forestry, site security ... applications like that work very well," Greene said.

They never tire. They never get sick, and will go into harm's way instead of us. We've come a long way from ball bearings.