The U.S. Navy's new robotics lab in Washington features realistic replicas of a Southeast Asian rain forest, sandstorm-swept desert and choppy coastal waters. Opened this spring, the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR) boasts 50,000 sq. ft. of space, and is designed to simulate real-world environs in which to test unmanned systems. The lab, which cost $18 million to build, isn't a substitute for operational testing of robots in the field, but can be used to avoid costly trips ...

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