CALIFORNIA, MD (January 27, 2022) — Designed by Cooper Carry to inspire collaboration between government and industry partners, as well as university faculty and students, the newly opened Southern Maryland Autonomous Research and Technology (SMART) Building at the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland (USMSM) is helping pioneer technology in the Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) space.

Housing academic and innovation facilities under one roof, the SMART building is a cross between a traditional educational environment and an enterprising research institution that supports the development of high-tech autonomous machines capable of traveling by air, sea, or land. The building features the Maryland Autonomous Technology Research and Innovation Xploration (MATRIX) Lab which includes an 80’ by 60’ open-air land lab, an outdoor terrain lab for vehicle testing, augmented reality and virtual reality research space, a robotics lab, and a circulating water channel. The project also includes numerous maker spaces including a machining shop, woodshop, 3D print labs, project assembly space, and an electronics shop for the design and fabrication of autonomous vehicles. Students are taught in 16 flexible classroom spaces and engineering teaching labs equipped with state-of-the-art technology for enhanced learning and laboratory equipment. 

Located near the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center and the UM Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site, the building was created in partnership with the Maryland General Assembly in an effort to enhance job creation in the automation arena. Governmental defense agencies work hand-in-hand with students, faculty, and researchers on various research initiatives, encouraging synergic engineering and analysis.