10 Small Business Innovators Named to US Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle Cohort

Army Applications Laboratory
3 min readJul 6, 2021

A new Army cohort aims to identify technologies that will enable Robotic Combat Vehicles to stay operational in the field while reducing the mental and physical workload for Soldiers.

Ten small technology firms from across the country will join the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) Sustainment Cohort in support of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team (NGCV CFT) and PM Maneuver Combat Systems (MCS). The cohort is run by the Army Applications Laboratory (AAL), the innovation arm of U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC).

The RCV Cohort is part of AAL’s Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs (SPARTN), which makes the Army Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program more business friendly. Designed for eligible U.S.-based businesses with fewer than 500 employees, SPARTN SBIR is a tool to help small businesses advance their technology while supporting the Army’s modernization efforts.

Cohort companies will develop ways to use remote troubleshooting to track RCV performance, as well as tools for predictive maintenance and projected resupply times. Each business will receive up to $200,000 for the first contract. Those selected to progress to Phase II will receive up to $1.5 million to continue work on their Phase 1 concepts. The 12-week cohort culminates with a concept design presentation to a panel of Army stakeholders, NGCV CFT, PM MCS, and AAL.

These organizations from AFC and the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology [ASA(ALT)] represent the critical stakeholders who decide which capabilities are needed for priority modernization systems and which technologies to purchase. Bringing them together at the early stages of the project to show businesses the potential pathway into Army budgets is a feature of AAL’s efforts to evolve how the Army finds and buys technology.

“Over the last 12 months, we’ve proven that our Cohort approach works and we continue to see results for our Army mission partners,” said Lt. Col. James Templin, AAL’s RCV Cohort program manager. “The RCV Sustainment Cohort will continue to prove that our model is essential to the Army’s aggressive modernization effort, while opening opportunities for businesses with innovative tech solutions to work with the military.”

This Cohort begins on Aug. 3, 2021 and concept design presentations to NGCV CFT and PM MCS leadership are planned for Oct. 22, 2021.

Congratulations to the following businesses on their selections:

Beacon Interactive Systems Waltham, Mass.

BHTechnology LLC Pomona, New York

Charles River Analytics Inc. Cambridge, Mass.

Exergi Predictive Hugo, Minn.

Hypergiant Galactic Systems Inc. Austin, Texas

Intelligent Fusion Technology Inc. Germantown, Md.

KRTKL Inc. San Francisco, Calif.

Qualtech Systems Inc. Rocky Hill, Conn.

RoboTire San Carlos, Calif.

SparkCognition Government Systems Austin, Texas

Army Applications Laboratory’s mission is to fundamentally reshape how the U.S. Army delivers capabilities to accelerate the discovery, evaluation, and transition of dual-use technology and successful business practices. AAL conducts substantial outreach to businesses who do not traditionally work with the government while improving incentives and the ease of working with the Army.



Army Applications Laboratory

We’re not a laboratory in the traditional sense of the word. The Army Applications Laboratory (AAL) is the U.S. Army’s innovation unit. Learn more at aal.army.