Raytheon's venture arm backs autonomy startup

Gettyimages.com / Yuichiro Chino

Autonomy and artificial intelligence technology is one of four broad priority areas for RTX Ventures.

Raytheon Technologies' venture capital arm has invested in autonomous technology company EpiSci as part of a push  to accelerate development of more solutions for tactical use.

EpiSci plans to use the RTX Ventures' financial backing and guidance to further iterate and scale the core offering called "Tactical AI." Terms of the transaction announced Thursday were not disclosed.

Autonomy and artificial intelligence technology is one of four broad priority areas for RTX Ventures since the organization unveiled itself in April. RTX Ventures' first investment under its current identity was in Hermeus, a hypersonic aircraft manufacturing startup.

Headquartered in the San Diego region, EpiSci is pushing to develop more collaborative autonomy solutions that emphasize teaming between unmanned systems and humans. EpiSci is also looking to move toward a demonstration of what it calls a model-based autonomy architecture.

"We firmly believe that our Tactical AI delivers both the trust and performance that human operators need and minimizes the limitations of end-to-end machine learning approaches," EpiSci President Bo Ryu said in a release. "With RTX Ventures' support, we are excited to scale our Tactical AI technology across multiple battlefield domains."

"As an early investor we plan to support EpiSci's endeavors in creating a trust-based, collaborative environment between humans and AI-enabled machines," added Daniel Ateya, managing director of RTX Ventures.

The RTX Ventures fund and organization is one of a handful among the group of blue chip defense hardware companies, which use them to invest in promising tech startups and gain more access to those creations.