Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR September 2016 Contents Asia Pacific Defence Reporter SEPT 2016 47
off operational ranges, accurate detection of threats
and allows forces to rapidly advance on the ground.
" The Robotic Kit can be adapted to a variety of
platforms according to the operational environment",
the IAI official said.
RoboCon is an autonomous "convoy leader”
a convoy and logistic support robotic platform
with autonomous driving including "follow me"
capabilities. Autonomous capabilities include tracking
and maneuvering in different terrains and obstacle
detection and avoidance.
The Robotic Kit can be adapted to a variety of
platforms according to operational needs. The
advanced “follow me” capabilities enable it to lead
many different vehicles (manned or unmanned).
Guardium is the most well known robotic system
developed by IAI in cooperation with another Israeli
company, Elbit systems. The joint company, NIUS,
developed an autonomous observation and target
Guardium employs autonomous unmanned ground
vehicles (UGV) that can be operated from a command
center, carry out routine patrols and quickly respond
to evolving emergencies. With the help of a multi
sensor payload and a weapon system, it can suppress
suspicious elements close to the perimeter, and hold
them back until manned security forces arrive, As
an alternative, it can use various forceful means to
eliminate the threat.
This can be done autonomously but at this stage
according to IAI all the clients want a "man in the loop"
The Guardium UGV initially used the TomCar all
terrain chassis. The vehicle is equipped with an
automated tactical positioning system and can operate
autonomously on and off road, at speeds up to 80
km/h. The vehicle can carry a payload of up to 300 kg,
including light armor shielding to protect vital systems.
IAI is now testing other platforms for this system.
The UGV can carry a wide variety of sensors,
including video and thermal cameras, with auto-target
acquisition and capture, a sensitive microphone,
powerful loudspeakers and a two way radio. According
to Shabtai, the vehicle can also be equipped with
lethal or less than lethal weapons that can be directed
and operated from the Main Control Center.
However, the joint company failed to meet the sales
targets, and a few years ago stopped its operations.
According to Shabtai, the technological assets were
shared by the two former partners:
" We continue to develop the Guardium. " We
upgraded the platform and now offer the market a
redesigned system. The main factor here is price
many clients still compare the cost of such an
autonomous system with the price of a four wheel
drive carrying armed security personnel. This is a
wrong comparison as the Guardium is the ultimate
system for long hours of patrolling along borders
and around sensitive perimeters. We hope that
the redesigned system will convince the potential
customers to select it".
Another robotic system developed by IAI is the REX.
According to the company, the modern combat
arena presents new challenges to infantry units and
pushes infantrymen to their weight-carrying limits. REX
is based on a small robotic platform that autonomously
accompanies units of 3-10 soldiers and is capable of
carrying 400 kg of equipment and supplies.
It provides an effective solution to enhance infantry's
combat performance by increasing available supplies
in the field without adding to the soldiers load.
According to Shabtai, this small "combat porter"
can follow a unit of soldiers. One soldier can use a
remote control device or simply attach the Rex to him
by a leash.
" In this preferred way, the leader becomes a mission
operator rather than a robot operator"
The Rex is powered by a hybrid engine that allows it
to run for 12 hours nonstop.
" It can carry all types of equipment or one stretcher
with a wounded soldier".
The IDF is currently evaluating the REX for its
It can be assumed that IAI is using its vast experience
in autonomous systems to develop other robotic
products but these are probably classified.
IAI's LAHAV division has gained a reputation as a
center of excellence in implementing network centric
warfare capabilities. Proven systems developed by
LAHAV are operational on combat aircraft and special
mission platforms, as well as in land-based systems of
the Israel and foreign air forces.
This division is the development center for future
robotic systems that according to all indications is
going to play a major role in any future combat
By adding up all the technologies that have
been developed by IAI, you can expect some real
breakthroughs in the near future. ¢
25/08/2016 6:27 PM
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