iTWire - VIDEO INTERVIEW: Palmer Luckey shares VR stories and searches for top Australian tech talent for Anduril defense technology

iTWire – VIDEO INTERVIEW: Palmer Luckey shares VR stories and searches for top Australian tech talent for Anduril defense technology

GUEST TALK: With the future of VR successfully rebooted thanks in part to the efforts of Palmer Luckey, who founded Oculus VR in 2012, designed the headset, led the VR entry and sold the company to Facebook in 2014 for US$2 billion, Luckey set its sights in 2017 on a much more pressing reality – delivering hardware, software, AI, VR, next-gen augmented reality and more to transform American and Allied superhero fighters with next-level defense technology, and now in Australia as well.

Anduril. Founded in 2017, Anduril offers a family of autonomous systems that provide integrated and persistent awareness and security on land, sea and air. All systems are powered by its open operating system, Lattice.

It’s also a defense products company that doesn’t wait for customers to say what they need – instead, it identifies problems, funds its R&D privately, creates solutions and sells finished products. ready to use in the US, UK and now Australia.

Turning ideas into deployed capabilities in months, not years, Anduril says these are pioneering solutions for tomorrow’s software-defined conflicts, less dependent on the ever-welcome advances in shipbuilding and ship design. aircraft, and more about advances in software engineering and computer science.

Andruril is different from traditional defense contractors whose primary focus is hardware, with Anduril’s core system is Lattice OS, an autonomous sense-making, command-and-control platform that serves as a primary form for the company’s suite of capabilities, enabling it to build cutting-edge technology at high speed, while actually saving governments and taxpayers money.

Behind it all is Palmer Luckey, whose interest in virtual reality has set him on the incredible path he is on. It was a great pleasure to speak with Palmer on a range of topics, naturally including VR, the metaverse, AR, the future, defense, Anduril and many more, so please watch the video below and read on – with more information about Anduril below, as well as a summary of the topics we talked about:

So what is the additional information about Anduril to demonstrate its next-level credentials, capabilities, and impressive achievements?

Bringing together Silicon Valley’s smartest engineers with veterans who have been on the front lines and have first-hand knowledge of the mission, as well as top tech talent from the UK, and now its expansion into Australia, the he Anduril team continues to grow rapidly.

Its engineers are experts in AI, robotics, advanced sensors, secure networks, aerospace, virtual reality technology, aircraft modeling and simulation, with military veterans comprising more than 20% of the engineering team. ‘Anduril, using their defense experience to ensure the company’s products meet the needs of servicemen and women on the battlefield.

Opening its first Australian office in early 2022, Anduril then announced its partnership with the Australian Defense Force in May 2022 for a co-funded A$140 million program to design and develop Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicles or XL- AUV. Three XL-AUV prototypes will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over three years, with one vehicle ready for manufacture by the end of 2025.

The XL-AUV will be an affordable, self-contained, long-endurance, multi-mission capable, modular, customizable AUV that can be optimized with a variety of payloads for a wide range of military and non-military missions such as advanced intelligence, inspection, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting infrastructure.

Anduril’s approach to developing the XL-AUV will deliver the vehicle at a fraction of the cost of existing underwater capabilities in radically shorter time frames.

The company notes that its three-year XL-AUV development program has an incredibly ambitious delivery schedule, which will involve capability assessment and prototyping in record time using Anduril’s agile capability development systems.

Anduril says he has proven he is able to go much faster than traditional defense development times. In 2020, it became the youngest company to win a record program with the United States government since the end of the Korean War with its Autonomous Surveillance Towers (AST) program. Anduril also began developing an end-to-end counter-drone solution in 2019, which the United States Special Operations Command named its system of choice in a $1 billion deal in 2022.

Also of note is Anduril’s statement that it will design, develop and manufacture the XL-AUVs in Australia.

The company is deeply committed to recruiting, building and retaining a highly skilled workforce, with all Australian and global jobs can be seen here.

To support program design, development and manufacturing, Anduril began hiring the process to find our best, for dozens of highly skilled roles including marine engineering, software development, advanced manufacturing, robotics, propulsion design, mission operations and more. Additionally, Anduril actively partners with other Australian SMEs and the research and technology communities to source nearly every element of the program’s supply chain.

“The XL-AUV project is a significant investment in Australian industrial capability,” said David Goodrich, OAM, Executive Chairman and CEO of Anduril Australia. “Through this partnership, Anduril Australia will become a major player in Australia’s thriving defense industrial base and contribute to Australia becoming a leading exporter of cutting-edge autonomous capabilities to the rest of the world.”

“There is a clear need for an Australian-built XL-AUV, for Australia,” said Anduril founder Palmer Luckey. “The XL-AUV will harness the latest developments in autonomy, advanced computing, sensor fusion, propulsion and robotics to bring advanced capabilities to the Royal Australian Navy.”

Anduril is all about speed and results, with a pitch for Australian tech talent that if you like to build fast and see your work deployed in real operational scenarios, Anduril wants you!

Indeed, the company notes that it will leverage Australian expertise in robotics technology, autonomy and software engineering, with Palmer looking for our best and brightest and saying: targeting, and we need to change that. The next war will be won by the smartest engineers. We need the brightest military engineering technologists and I am here in Australia to find them.

“If you want to work in technology on interesting problems, there is no better place than Anduril. We have access to some very fascinating issues, many of which are not even in the public domain. We won’t take you for granted and you will have a lot of fun. It will be spiritually fulfilling, professionally fulfilling, and financially fulfilling.

Anduril’s blog is also a great source of news and developments, with the company recently releasing its mission statement on “Rebooting the Arsenal of Democracy” and launching Menace, an integrated platform for command, control, communications and informatics (C4) expeditionary. which is optimized to bring complex software to the battlefield with secure and resilient communications.

It will allow warfighters to plan and execute classified missions in austere and advanced contingency locations with denied, disconnected, intermittent or limited bandwidth conditions.

There’s also a fascinating article that compares working on self-driving cars versus working at Anduril.

  • In the video interview above, I introduced Palmer and asked him what his computer was, what got him interested in VR as a kid, and how he got started.
  • I then noted that Palmer must have felt that starting his own company was the best way to accelerate VR as he knew it, and we discussed it.
  • I asked Palmer what he thought of Facebook’s handling of virtual reality over the past few years since he left Facebook to launch Anduril.
  • Palmer shared his thoughts on augmented, extended, and mixed realities, and his thoughts on all of the metaverses being built and to come.
  • If Palmer could wave a magic wand and change VR and presumably AR for the better, what would those changes be?
  • We then looked at Anduril, and why Palmer was visiting Australia, and his introduction to Australia’s top tech talent.
  • Palmer shared his thoughts on the possibility of a world war breaking out and the balance of power shifting negatively towards dictatorships and authoritarian governments, before Anduril can tip the scales towards governments that respect and protect freedom. ,
  • After sharing what else Palmer wanted us to know about Anduri, Palmer shared his thoughts on future development, super soldiers of the future, good advice received in life, and his final message to iTWire viewers and readers, as well as its current and future customers, employees and partners.

So please watch the excellent video with Palmer Luckey above to learn more!

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