UGV & UGCV: The Rise of the Joystick Army

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Robots Unite to Defeat Electronic Jamming

Ground robots are becoming commonplace aids on battlefields and in disaster relief operations around the world. But their effectiveness is being hampered by the proliferation of wireless communication devices. Radio signals jam the robots, which are limited in range by low-power antennas and slow processors.


Troops and first responders in the future would like to send teams of autonomous vehicles out on long distance missions that will require improved communications. To help them, scientists are working on technologies that will allow multiple robots to collaborate and form virtual antenna arrays to overcome dead zones and dropped connections and to amplify the systems' range while consuming less power.

The concept involves combining two key communications capabilities: beamforming and robotic controls.

San Diego-based Adaptive Communications Research Inc. has developed beamforming software that eliminates or reduces interference and extends signal transmission ranges on devices with limited hardware processors. It is based on an algorithm called non-Eigen decomposition. The beamforming software is well suited for robotic systems, said the company's president, Garret Okamoto.

Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, ACRi is placing its beamforming technology aboard small four-wheeled vehicles with control systems developed by Santa Clara University's robotic systems laboratory. The robots maneuver collaboratively as a group into formations of various geometrical shapes including circles, squares and triangles, said the lab's director Christopher Kitts.

"We have a very specific control technique that we've developed that lets you very easily, flexibly reconfigure formations of robots," he said. This "cluster space" approach allows operators to input the intended formation or shape of the group. The control software then calculates each robot's corresponding movements and sends the vehicle into formation. Eventually, the intent is to take the operator out of the equation and enable the robots to adjust their positions autonomously.

Equipped with ACRi's beamforming technology, the robots essentially form smart antenna arrays. When they move into different formations, they alter the array's aperture, which changes the frequency being transmitted or received.

"Basically, there are numerous antennas spread over an area and they are collaboratively communicating. This could be useful in a public safety or disaster situation when it's tough for a single robot to communicate," said Okamoto.

In a collapsed building, for example, a group of robots could enter the rubble to conduct a search-and-rescue mission and relay their signals farther than a single system could. The concept would also work on a battlefield where jamming or interference is problematic.

Last month, the scientists were preparing to demonstrate the integrated systems at a NASA-Ames Research Center test facility at Moffett Field, Calif.

"Putting it together isn't as critical as it is getting our individual pieces to work," said Okamoto, who added that ACRi has been testing its hardware in simulations that showed the concept would work on two robots to eight robots.

In the demonstration, the researchers planned to test what formations are best for beamforming.

"The idea is to go through a couple basic changes in formation and still have the robots functioning as a single aggregate antenna and have that aggregate antenna working better than a single antenna," said Kitts.

The four robots will carry a small antenna connected to a box containing a software-defined radio. They will communicate over the Wi-Fi band.

"All the processing and combining happens on one robot. You could use legacy equipment really and just have the upgraded system on one," said Okamoto.


In addition to seeking opportunities with military robot manufacturers, the company is considering a number of civilian applications for its technology. The software could reside aboard robots designed for disaster recovery and law enforcement missions. Fire fighters are beginning to send robots into burning buildings to determine what areas are safe. Extending the robots' capability to communicate in those situations might help to save lives, Okamoto said.

"We're giving him an extra degree of freedom now," said Kitts, referring to the robots' mobility and how that impacts Okamoto's typically stationary antennas. "He can electronically change things, but now we can move the antenna and rearrange the antenna in addition to his electronic changes. Overall, the hope is that that's going to open up all sorts of new opportunities," he said.

The Santa Clara researchers have transferred the robotic control and formation technology from ground vehicles to autonomous kayaks. They will test those maritime robots during an upcoming mission with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Okamoto said the beamforming technology could function aboard those platforms as well. "The communications won't really care if we're on either platform," he said. A long-term goal is to adapt the system to satellites.

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Canada Orders Counter-IED Robots

Canada has become the second NATO ally to deploy Dragon Runner robots in Afghanistan. The deployment was announced at a spring symposium at the Canadian Embassy devoted to conquering IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in Afghanistan. The symposium brought together a group of largely Canadian-based companies working on anti-IED technologies, but also included QinetiQ North America's Dragon Runner SUGV (small, unmanned ground vehicle).


The June edition of Diplomatic Connections magazine featured detailed coverage of the symposium. "As the assembled audience settled into place," the magazine reported, "Dragon Runner made its entrance by climbing the front stairs of the embassy, maneuvering through a series of doorways, traveling down the theater aisle, and up the stage steps where it jauntily greeted Canadian Ambassador Gary Dower by waving a Canadian maple leaf flag. In a remarkable demonstration of its dexterity, Dragon Runner used its manipulator arm with a rotating shoulder and wrist as well as opposable grippers to drop a ceremonial hockey puck into the Ambassador's hand."

"Dismounted operations prevail in Afghanistan because of the rugged terrain and lack of paved roads," noted Dr. J.D. Crouch, President of the Technology Solutions Group of QinetiQ North America which develops and manufactures the Dragon Runner. "That means our soldiers and marines need equipment they can carry, and Dragon Runner is ideally suited to these missions."

Canada is the second NATO country to use Dragon Runner robots to help disarm IEDs in Afghanistan. QinetiQ announced last November that the British Ministry of Defence (MOD), responding to an "urgent operational requirement," was purchasing almost 100 Dragon Runner robots for use in Afghanistan. They have since been successfully deployed as the UK Ministry of Defence reported last month. It said in a statement: "Countering the threat from IEDs is the top priority in making military progress in the Afghanistan campaign. Dragon Runner, the best remote-controlled bomb disposal robot currently on the market, has been operating in Afghanistan for over a year, adding to the range of other Counter-IED capability."

QinetiQ North America is an independent, innovative technology provider that earns over a billion dollars in revenue operating with small company speed and agility while leveraging significant global resources. QinetiQ North America is part of QinetiQ Group PLC, one of the world's leading defense and security technology companies.

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Army technology expands snake-robotics

ADELPHI, Md.: Development of snake-like technology underway at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory is moving the military toward sending more autonomous systems instead of Soldiers on search-and-rescue missions, a top priority in the most dangerous mission areas.

Army researchers call it the Robotic Tentacle Manipulator, a developmental project that expands on snake robotics research introduced at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, an ARL-funded effort through its robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance initiative.


This new work has resulted in the arrangement of the bases of several snakes in a circular array that functions like a team using multiple parts of their bodies to manipulate an object, scan a room or handle improvised explosive devices.

This snake-robot is scalable; it can be built however large or small as a subsystem to a larger platform like iRobot's rugged system Warrior, which travels over rough terrain and climbs stairs. The number of tentacles or snakes determines the breadth or scope of its search capabilities. The number of links on each of those tentacles supports each snake's length or reach into an area, as well as its ability to crawl, swim, climb or shimmy through narrow spaces all while transmitting images to the Soldier who is operating the system.

The subsystem comes equipped with sophisticated electronic sensors, among them laser detection and ranging, or LADAR, to render 3-D representations of object shapes and physical properties like faces, mass and center of mass.

"The technology is leading to more than just the very tip of the snake being used in the object manipulation effect," said Derek Scherer, a researcher who works within ARL's Vehicle Technology Directorate. "Consider that snakes push off rocks or roots to propel their bodies. We are using this same concept in development."

Scherer said that with increased manipulator dexterity, Soldiers can offload more tasks to the robotic platform. "When the platform is tasked with inspecting a potential IED threat, the extreme adaptability of the tentacle manipulator will allow the platform to rummage with precision," he said.
Its 'touch sensitivity' allows the snake-robot to balance objects and feel where forces are being applied as it rotates devices.

"It allows it to lift and reposition objects, including IEDs, for examination, and do so in a controlled fashion that is unlikely to detonate any ordnance." Scherer noted. "These same capabilities would improve inspections during cargo and checkpoint missions."

Researchers predict the technology may one day solve the "opening a door" problem, which has been a consistent obstacle in robotics, Scherer said. High levels of articulation in the manipulator could prove to be effective for grasping and rotating different types of door handles using knobs, handles, levers and bars.

"Solving the door problem would greatly improve indoor robot missions," Scherer added.
The developmental hardware includes a large-screen laptop, which presents a simple user interface. Each 24-centimeter tentacle is directed by a master controller system, which communicates with the motors that are embedded in each of the links found on the tentacles. The motors essentially direct individual tentacle movement and the master controller directs the entire amalgamation of snakes, or tentacles.

"This is a distributed intelligence framework that permits advanced manipulation algorithms to run on a complex but affordable hardware platform," Scherer said.

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DARPA to Take on Major New Robotics Initiative

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a major new initiative to create robotic autonomous manipulators that mimic the human hands, an agency program manager said.

For the past several decades, the research agency and the robotics community have concentrated their efforts on programming ground robots to get from point A to point B, said Robert Mandelbaum, a DARPA program manager who focuses on robotics and autonomous systems. That challenge has for the most part been tackled, he said.


The autonomous robotics manipulation program will take on a new goal, creating an inexpensive hand-like device that is as adaptable as a human appendage.

"We are looking for software that can span a variety of spaces. We're not looking for any particular application," he said at an Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference.

In other words, for any single task, engineers can design a robotic tool that can do better than a hand. For example, for putting in a screw, they would simply design an arm with a screwdriver on the end.

"We want general adaptability. We want a hand that can do multiple tasks," Mandelbaum said.

There are myriad possible applications including counter-mine, the ability to remove rubble in search-and-rescue missions, weapons support, explosive ordnance disposal, casualty care and prostheses. They are also needed in extreme environments such as space, he said.

As far as prosthetics, there has been progress in pushing World War II-era technology for artificial arms into the modern age. There are now robotic appendages, but for each individual action there must be a command. DARPA wants to create arms and hands that will mimic the human mind's ability to pick up a grape without having to think about what each individual finger must do, he said.

"We would like to give that kind of low-level control to prosthetic arms to really give them the ability to have the same dexterous manipulation as regular people," he said.

Unlike industrial robots with arms that do the same action over and over again, the challenge will be to create arms that can do one task well, and then be able to a completely different job immediately afterwards, he said.

The program will ask teams working on the program to accomplish three major operations.

The first will be for the robot to open up a duffel bag, search through the contents and find a revolver that is hiding inside. That requires the ability to handle flexible material like clothing, which has been a challenge for robots in the past, he said. That will require "force feedback," or the ability to feel for objects, rather than just relying on visual cues. It will also require bimanual coordination, the ability to use two hands at once. It must use one hand to hold onto the bag and the other to open the zipper.

The next task will be rubble removal in a search-and-rescue scenario. The robot will have to pick up oddly shaped objects with both arms. The third challenge will require that the arms insert one object into another — in this case a shell into a mortar.

There will be two tracks: software and hardware.

For the software, DARPA will provide the hardware in the form of robotic arms that the teams can upload its software into. The agency doesn't want the competitors to spend their time and money integrating software into different models of robotic arms. The robot will start out with one arm picking up and using rigid objects "just to get the teams' feet wet" and then graduate to two arms and more difficult to manipulate objects such as cloth, he said.

The main challenge in the hardware track will be creating inexpensive arms.

If these hands are to be ubiquitous, they cannot have astronomically high price tags, he said.


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Elbit Systems Expands the VIPeR into a Family of Robots August 10, 2010 at 8:25 am n


Elbit Systems is expanding its family of man portable unmanned ground systems with the introduction of two new models. During a recent exhibition the company displayed the new robots, in addition to a wide range of advanced land and C4I solutions. The new members of the VIPeR family of intelligent and portable robots include the Mini-VIPeR and Maxi-VIPeR, which join the VIPeR robot, already operational in the Israel Defense Forces under the Hebrew name "Pazit."

All VIPeRs are designed for portability and high mobility; the robots are configurable for multiple types of missions by add-on sensors, modules and payloads, tailored to specific tasks. The Viper is controlled by a single operator, and is designed to negotiate obstacles typical of an urban environment, such as climbing stairs and rubbles, when performing surveillance, reconnaissance and support troops in urban warfare missions.

The VIPeR vehicle uses the "Galileo Wheel", a patented wheel that can be transformed on the move into a triangular track, developed by Galileo Mobility Instruments ltd. This unique automotive system enables the robot to climb stairs, negotiate difficult terrain, move over barricades, dense vegetation and other obstacles.

The Mini-VIPeR and Maxi VIPeR robots use a more common track system. While the two new robots bear some resemblance to the Beagle, developed by Elbit Systems of America, a closer look at the two new robots reveal more similarities to the locally designed VIPeR. The larger version uses a wide, heavy duty track system, adapted from the VIPeR for outdoor operation over rugged terrain. The smaller robot uses a narrow track, more suitable for indoor operation.

Both have body mounted sensors, flat top and bottom surfaces, for the mounting of mission payloads. The Mini-VIPeR is a light-weight, one-person portable system (weighing approximately 3.5 kg), equipped with advanced sensors that allow full operation in adverse terrain. Thrown into a dark tunnel or tossed through a window, into a room, the mini-Viper allows warfighters to survey structures before entering. The larger, yet compact Maxi-VIPeR robot is designed to carry sensors and tele-operated manipulator arms, for the handling of unexploded devices and other hazardous materials including radioactive materials.

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Elbit Systems Expands the VIPeR into a Family of Robots

Elbit Systems' Mini VIPeR small, portable unmanned vehicle





 

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'Flying Robot' Pilot Helps Find IEDs In Helmand

London, UK (SPX) Lance Corporal Rob McInerney is currently working at the forefront of counter-IED operations in Afghanistan piloting the 'Flying Robot', which is part of the Talisman counter-IED system.


Talisman is a suite of vehicles, operated by the Royal Engineers, that clears routes of IEDs and mines.

Talisman has been designed to provide an increased level of assurance along routes throughout the region. It consists of a suite of cutting-edge equipment, including armoured vehicles, optical cameras and remote-controlled vehicles.

This life-saving equipment is being used to support combat logistic patrols, which can comprise several hundred vehicles and trek through the country delivering vital supplies to bases for the troops on the front line.

Lance Corporal Rob McInerney, aged 26, serves with 15 Field Support Squadron, part of 38 Engineer Regiment - the first troops to use the new system on the ground in Afghanistan. See Related News.

His role is to pilot the MAV (Micro Air Vehicle), otherwise known as the 'Flying Robot' or 'T-Hawk':

"The MAV is a great piece of kit and complements the rest of the equipment," he said. "The MAV has two cameras which feed information back to a laptop so that the commander is then better placed to make decisions.


"We have been involved in a few contacts on a couple of the operations that we have been on, which made the day interesting! The most satisfying part of the tour for me is when we get the guys to their destination safely; after all, that is the aim of our job!"

Lance Corporal McInerney has been with 15 Field Support Squadron, based in Ripon, North Yorkshire, since they re-roled from a Field Support Squadron in which he was a plant operator:

"It has been good to learn something new but I am looking forward to getting back to plant," he said.

Talisman

Talisman is a suite of vehicles, operated by the Royal Engineers, that clears routes of IEDs and mines. It was bought as an Urgent Operational Requirement worth more than pound180m.

Each Talisman system consists of:

+ a Mastiff 2 protected patrol vehicle + a Buffalo mine protected vehicle, with a rummaging arm + a JCB high mobility engineer excavator + a Micro Air Vehicle + a Talon tracked, remote-controlled robot.


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ABB To Display Robotic Automation Concepts And Capabilities

ABB Robotics, a leading supplier of industrial robots, is participating in the Military Vehicle Exhibition and Conference August 11-12, 2010 at the Cobo Convention Center in Detroit, Michigan.


As part of developing potential mobile robotic-equipped concepts ABB has also collaborated on the development of end-effectors and payload sensors.

The event, sponsored by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) is the largest stand-alone military vehicles exhibition in the United States, displaying the latest vehicles, components, and after-market products in the light, medium, and heavy categories.

Participants and attendees include personnel from the U.S. Department of Defense, Military OEMs, component manufacturers, service providers and academia. The exhibits and demonstrations feature a wide variety of existing and emerging vehicle technology with the potential to support military and defense operations.

ABB Robotics' core business is automating traditional supply chain material handling applications such as packaging and palletizing, and manufacturing applications such as arc welding, assembly and machine tending.

Inspired by the improved productivity, quality and workplace safety that ABB robots have provided to a wide variety of industries, ABB has recently been working with military organizations in the U.S. and abroad to determine if robotic technology could automate any of the military's supply chain and logistics operations.

ABB is also working with the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to develop unique mobile robot-equipped vehicles that could be used for field applications, possibly including IED (improvised explosive devices) inspection and hazardous material handling.

Because these tasks are repetitive, and in many cases dangerous, the prospect for industrial robots and robot-equipped vehicles to help the military is gaining increasing interest and support.

"The military's interest in robots for dull, dirty and dangerous tasks is supported by the breadth of productivity gains and improved quality the use of our robots has provided to the automotive industry and a wide variety of other industrial applications," said Erwin DiMalanta, business development manager, ABB Robotics, North America.

"In many instances the introduction of robotic automation has also allowed industrial organizations to remove human labor from repetitive or hazardous activities, into safer, more rewarding jobs."

The ABB exhibit (Booth #539) will feature:

+ The Gladiator - a four-wheel, unmanned concept vehicle with an ABB IRB 140 robot mounted to a front end bracket. Developed in conjunction with TARDEC, the Gladiator features a multi-functional end-of-arm tool that can grasp or act on certain objects. It demonstrates ABB's superior path performance and motion control, and represents the combination of innovation and proven commercial technology that ABB Robotics can provide for military and defense applications. + A Welding FlexTrainer(tm) - a portable, fully equipped and operational robotic arc welding cell specifically designed for robotic training purposes. It will feature an IRB 140 robot equipped with an IRC 5 panel mount controller, robotic welding torch and welding power supply.

As part of developing potential mobile robotic-equipped concepts ABB has also collaborated on the development of end-effectors and payload sensors. For military applications mobile robots would require a collection of interchangeable tools to be readily available on moving platforms much the same way manufacturing robot systems exchange tools for various work cell tasks.

Payload sensors developed in industrial applications help robots easily adjust the path and force to use when handling objects that vary in size, shape, weight and location.

"Adapting the use of reliable, proven industrial robotic technology has the potential to support the military's operational needs and troops in the field," added Joe Campbell, vice president sales and marketing for ABB Robotics, North America.

"While our primary interest is to bring continuing innovation to the industrial sector, we recognize the vast potential robots have for many non-industrial applications."

In August 2009 ABB participated in the US Army's first "Robotics Rodeo", which brought together robotics experts and companies from across the country to review and test innovative robotic solutions, and encourage the development of autonomous systems to support the military.

ABB featured the Robotic Retrieval and Transport (RAT) concept vehicle, an IRB 6620 industrial robot mounted to the flat bed of a specially equipped Ford F250 pick-up truck.

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Tshering22

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And some say the US is cash-strapped eh? Anyways, I don't think the getting fully automated robots in battlefield for our forces would be good idea enough. For IED diffusing, bomb plots, surveillance etc, excellent as it would save a soldier's life, but considering the lack of job creating abilities in India, slicing down our Army size in future and replacing them with robots would mean a burden on our economy where people of very low strata keep having children faster than our economy can process their plans for a stable future.

Robot soldiers in full fledged war is good for countries like Russia where there are annual non-combat deaths of soldiers at around 1,300 due to violence, brutality, ragging and other such stupid issues and their population dying at an alarming 3,30,000 with negative replacements; or even USA where soldiers are stretched thin because of their global deployments. But in our case, we must consider advanced stages of F-INSAS like cybernetic armoured suits for individual soldiers (I might sound Sci-fi here) but we need these kinds of stuff for our 1.5 million soldiers. This is to avoid job cuts as well as at the same time not risking our soldiers who have reliable platforms for battle engagement.

Also, the primary focus should be on counter-terrorist first strike operational enhancement rather than simply upgrading the professional armed forces that don't have to fight wars a lot these days unlike 4 decades back. Special forces and CT operatives should have enhanced suits to conduct operations in POK (Stolen Kashmir) and in areas of Maoist scumbags.
 
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nrj

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And some say the US is cash-strapped eh? Anyways, I don't think the getting fully automated robots in battlefield for our forces would be good idea enough. For IED diffusing, bomb plots, surveillance etc, excellent as it would save a soldier's life, but considering the lack of job creating abilities in India, slicing down our Army size in future and replacing them with robots would mean a burden on our economy where people of very low strata keep having children faster than our economy can process their plans for a stable future.

Robot soldiers in full fledged war is good for countries like Russia where there are annual non-combat deaths of soldiers at around 1,300 due to violence, brutality, ragging and other such stupid issues and their population dying at an alarming 3,30,000 with negative replacements; or even USA where soldiers are stretched thin because of their global deployments. But in our case, we must consider advanced stages of F-INSAS like cybernetic armoured suits for individual soldiers (I might sound Sci-fi here) but we need these kinds of stuff for our 1.5 million soldiers. This is to avoid job cuts as well as at the same time not risking our soldiers who have reliable platforms for battle engagement.

Also, the primary focus should be on counter-terrorist first strike operational enhancement rather than simply upgrading the professional armed forces that don't have to fight wars a lot these days unlike 4 decades back. Special forces and CT operatives should have enhanced suits to conduct operations in POK (Stolen Kashmir) and in areas of Maoist scumbags.
India's view on the use of Robots in battlefield is different from that of US. Even US is not looking to replace the human power by robots. But to enhance the Human power by use of Robots in the critical areas where soldiers can not reach or like surveillance operations.

Israelis have developed very flexible robotic snakes who can remain hidden in natural or urban environment thus serving the purpose of intelligence gathering. This will not only give distinguished capabilities to conventional/special ops forces but will maximize their survivability.

Just imagine if our National Guards would have had these robotic snakes during 26/11 Tornado operation then I would like to think that brave Mr.Unnikrishnan could have survived. (A possibility, not a strong claim) So likewise we need such Robotic enhancements in our Special, regular & even Homeland security forces.

US is looking for Robotic Mule to carry very heavy cargo usually carried by foot-soldiers in deserts or mountain areas. This will keep the soldiers alert without loosing energy in load carrying task. I am sure Indian forces in Leh/NE can also benefit from such tools.

But Indian forces are still very far from the robotic equipment induction as compared to the proportion of robots in US forces. US is putting vast amount of money, R&D to make this process fast. US is leading the race way beyond than any other country in this area & will remain leader for quiet long time.
 
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gogbot

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And some say the US is cash-strapped eh?
US is 14 trillion dollar economy with trillions of dollars in debt , being cash strapped means some thing completely different for them.

They still spend 100's of billions of dollars on their defense budget. It 500 billion plus

Anyways, I don't think the getting fully automated robots in battlefield for our forces would be good idea enough
but considering the lack of job creating abilities in India, slicing down our Army size in future and replacing them with robots would mean a burden on our economy where people of very low strata keep having children faster than our economy can process their plans for a stable future.
This is to avoid job cuts as well as at the same time
This is a very narrow and one dimensional view of the situation.

For one thing machines can never replace human , we don't have AI or VI good enough to do that.
Second by the time we do have VI and AI , I am sure India has better job opportunities.
Third The Unmanned systems we currently have still need people , generally more qualified people to operate and use them.

really speaking , you don't have to worry about stuff like this.
And either way , army is not their to give people a job.

But frankly speaking i thing what they really mean is they are increasing the size of the armed forces without actually getting more active soldiers , not replacing soldiers with Machines.
So our armed forces grows in size and since this is due to the number of drones we have , % wise the number of robotic in the army will increase.

But in our case, we must consider advanced stages of F-INSAS like cybernetic armoured suits for individual soldiers (I might sound Sci-fi here) but we need these kinds of stuff for our 1.5 million soldiers. not risking our soldiers who have reliable platforms for battle engagement.
Nothing Sci-fi about what you speak , and i wouldn't be surprised if F-INSAS does involve an exo-skeleton in it's final stages.

Check out other such development's this decade.


Some commercial powered exoskeletons from Japan.

Imagine some of the stuff we can look forward to this decade

But stuff like this is still expensive and we have to consider how we can afford to even equip 1.5 million soldiers
(click to enlarge)


I know 5th gen is lolz , but the rest highlights a point which is cost.

Also, the primary focus should be on counter-terrorist first strike operational enhancement rather than simply upgrading the professional armed forces that don't have to fight wars a lot these days unlike 4 decades back. Special forces and CT operatives should have enhanced suits to conduct operations in POK (Stolen Kashmir) and in areas of Maoist scumbags.
That's what a lot of these things are for , COIN operations will benefit greatly from Combat drones , as well as patrols along the borders , where drones can save the lives of our Jawans lost due to cross border firing.

Imagine Solar powered UAV's , giving us near uninterrupted Surveillance for weeks before having to be replaced.

Now put those UAV's on the same network as the Combat drones on the ground , and put the solider on that network as well.

The combination of Unmanned systems with troops , Unmanned systems with Other unmanned systems , it is truly magnificent.

The soldier's we have will have so many force multiplier , even one solider can to bear almost unprecedented amounts of firepower.

That is the primary aim of F-INSAS and all other future solider programs , To make sure the Soldier is an integral part of the network



This is what Almost every army want's.
 
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CROWS land on vehicles, keep Soldiers safe

FORT POLK, La. -- Technology makes life easier. In the Army, technological advances sometimes serve to protect human life. One of the most dangerous positions in the Army is the convoy gunner, but technology has found a way to keep gunners safe.

Fort Polk Soldiers trained on the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station from Aug. 23-27. CROWS is a turret mounted atop a military vehicle that the Soldier operates from within his vehicle. CROWS-mountable vehicles include Max Pros, RG-31s, Fox vehicles, certain tanks and buffalos. Guns that can be mounted into the CROWS include the .50 caliber M2, MK19, M240B and M249.

Members of Tank-automotive and Armaments Command based out of Rock Island, Ill. taught the course to Soldiers from companies throughout Fort Polk using a train-the-trainer format.

CROWS' turret mount has a video camera, thermal imaging module and laser range finder. The gun mounted to CROWS is sighted to the cameras on the turret so few adjustments need to be made to fire the weapon at what is on the screen.

"Exactly where you point is where the bullets land," said Spc. Landon Barton of the 258th Military Police Company, 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

"It has better optics than any human eye will ever have," said Mike Fisher, TACOM training specialist. "The Soldier inside the vehicle can see further and it is capable of working both day and night. Soldiers won't be sitting out there with night vision like they had to do back in older generations."

"The thermal on it is very clear and you can see everything with the zooming," said Spc. Travis Gustafson of the 272nd Military Police Company, 519th MP Bn, 1st MEB. "I'm confident that when I'm running it at night I will be able to see what I need to see."

"This is the coolest thing I've seen in a while," said Sgt. Antoine Gray of the 258th MP Co. "When the class started on Monday, they were doing a brief run through and they had the thing moving around, and everyone's mouths were dropping."

As advanced as the imaging and technology is for CROWS, its main purpose is to eliminate the exposure to enemy fire Soldiers must face in the turret position.

"It's about keeping Soldiers out of harm's way," said Fisher. "They are actually inside a vehicle and not putting their heads above."

"The gunners, an important part of any convoy, are safe within the confines of the vehicle," said Staff Sgt. Peter King, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 353rd Infantry Regiment, 162nd Infantry Brigade.

CROWS also reduces environmental distractions and improves visual acuity.

"I've been a gunner and on a truck, you have your goggles on, you've got the heat, wind and debris," said Gray. "With CROWS you are with your team within the truck, you don't have to worry about the elements - the heat, especially in Iraq, is ridiculous."

Most of the Soldiers taking this initial course are going to teach CROWS. Mike Freed, the CROWS site lead from TACOM, expressed honestly and optimistically how the group of Soldiers was doing learning the new system.

"They're doing good," said Freed when they tested the system on the range Aug. 27. "Don't get me wrong; everyone has their own way of learning. Some people have got to be shown, some people go ahead and fail and then they learn, and others just grab it right away. We've got enough high-speed guys out here that have been around the .50 caliber, that it's mainly just aiming the target and pushing the button. It's a good team out here."

"The instructors showed us everything we needed to know, and it's easy to use," said Barton.

"This is the most in-depth training I've been to in a while," said Gray. "The CROWS system has a lot of pieces, and the instructors take the time to break it down to where you follow every weapon that goes in there. They are very good at making sure you understand before they move on."

"The only difficult thing is the mounting and the timing," said Gustafson. "The controls are self-explanatory. It would only take a couple of hours to explain how to use it."

The system set up is reminiscent of a video game. The Soldier sights the target with a video monitor and pivots the turret with a joystick. The kick of the recoil is muffled with springed shock absorbers, further separating the Soldier from the experience of shooting the weapon directly.

"Firing from the turret itself, you have a lot of recoil, so a couple of rounds go above where you're aiming," said Gustafson.

"(With CROWS) you have a screen and a joystick, and that's it," said King. "The simulator itself is a video game system. You just have to remember that it is still a machine gun designed to do a job, a very specific job, and we have to give it the respect it deserves."

Remote weapons systems have been used by the military, but CROWS is the latest advancement.

Gray operated an RWS in 2006 in New Baghdad in Iraq. Gray preferred the new system to the old. "I would say it's about 100 times better," said Gray. "It has many extra features on it."

New updates to the CROWS include programmable movement so that the Soldier operating the station as a surveillance station will be able to concentrate on what is on the screen rather than constantly moving the system back and forth to those areas in the environment he is watching.

"In theater, if you have more than one object that you are looking at, you can time it to where it will shift every five seconds to a different object or area," said Gray. "It's a constantly rotating surveillance."

The new system also performs ballistics calculations to adjust targeting for factors such as distance and wind. "Ninety percent of the time it will put you right on target, without any calculations yourself," said Gray.

"I hope we get one down range, because I'm deploying in January," said Gustafson. "It would definitely put me at ease being in the vehicle."

"I hope this is the future of the Army, because this is a great system," said Barton. "Hopefully it gets spread around more."

CROWS land on vehicles, keep Soldiers safe
 

Kunal Biswas

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Tracked Robo soilder..

Wiesel based Robo?










Just looking at Wiesel Armored vehicle, First thing came in my mind why not to have a unmanned version of the vehicle, It have its own diesel engine to run electricity and its mobility, The vehicle size ( Height and length also the width ) fits the job for a unmanned ground vehicle to operate in thick urban environment and over mountain roads which are narrow, The vehicle is operated in Afghanistan by German troops, i assume its rugged and reliable and have sufficient protection against enemy 7.62 and 12.7mm?, Transporting the vehicle is easy..

For Extra protections, We can add addon armors or slat Armour..

Many countries already operating unmanned vehicles but most of them are electric based and not very long range, This small vehicle with lethal armaments like 50cal MG with 30/40mm AGL can be very effective against insurgent groups, The system is a cheap alternative to a big manned vehicle near enemy territory..







Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi, Chennai INDIA. The prototype consists of a drive-by-wire (DBW) system which includes electro-mechanical actuators and drives for the driver interfaces such as acceleration, brake, gear shifting, steering, clutch, parking brake, etc. The DBW system is controlled by a PXI-based controller in the remote vehicle and receives commands on a wireless LAN from a lab view-based GUI located in the base station.







Members are free to share their Views..
 

Kunal Biswas

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We need something in size of Wiesel same mechanics as BMP prototype and turret may same as GMR..
IT will be very helpful in combating tangos in Kashmir and easy to operate over mountains NE and J&k..
 

Kunal Biswas

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My Idea mainly is to make it as a fire-support vehicle for troops..
The System is cheap and availability will be more than other big manned vehicles, If one goes down 3 more can take its place..

With combine efforts by troops and UAV this system may prove helpful..
Besides their are many other application can be done..
 

nrj

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Boston Dynamics Military Robots Climb, Haul, Run Like Living Things


In previous decades, we had fantasies that, by this time, robots would be doing our jobs and all of our household chores so that we could live lives of luxury. We're still not quite there yet, but robots have started doing things we never even considered they'd be able to do. We use them in law enforcement and military settings to disarm bombs and check out unsafe situations. We use them to learn more about the environments of our own planet and others. And some people even use them to beat their friends at video games. But some of the most amazing work in robotics is being carried out by Boston Dynamics. They're building bots to tackle real-life situations in brand new ways.

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Rise climbing robot

RiSE may be small, but it's packed with some pretty amazing technology. Its feet with micro-claws allow it to climb straight up buildings, fences and trees, while its tail helps it stay balanced. Its "body" can change posture when needed to help it conform to the surface it's climbing on, which gives it the somewhat-creepy look of a squirrel crossed with a scorpion when it's ascending.

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BigDog

The BigDog robot gained worldwide attention for Boston Dynamics. The incredibly sturdy quadriped moves like a living animal, having been modeled after a large dog. Its articulated legs are able to regain balance on rough or slippery terrain, or even after being pushed or kicked. The DARPA-funded project aims to create a robot that can go anywhere people or animals can go. So far, Big Dog can carry loads of up to 340 pounds across all types of terrain, and it broke the world record for legged vehicle travel after going 12.8 miles without stopping or refueling.

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Petman walking robot

The new project from Boston Dynamics that's getting lots of buzz these days is Petman, which the company describes as BigDog's big brother. It's a biped that will be used to test chemical protection clothing for the U.S. Army. With its dynamic movements and ability to simulate sweat and a realistic human body temperature, it is by far the most advanced suit tester ever developed. Petman will take the chemical protection suits through all sorts of stressing tests, like performing calisthenics and moving in ways remarkably similar to human soldiers. The video above only shows a prototype, but already the movements are incredibly human-like.

Boston Dynamics
 
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maomao

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So this is how it starts........Cyberdyne initiates project Skynet!!
 
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