IAI hooks up with Israeli start-ups for autonomous systems
The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Innovation Center is producing its first deliverables after completing an initial 13-week cycle of development with three local start-up companies.
Separate teams developed proof-of-concept (PoC) solutions for robotics, autonomous vehicle operations and AI for space and satellite applications.
IAI chose the three solutions based on their applicability to the future battlefield, their business feasibility and their market relevance.
Following the first accelerated development stage, the three start-up solutions will continue to evolve in the second cycle of the Innovation Center.
Combined with IAI’s experience, these start-up ideas ‘will give us an edge in the market,’ Amira Sharon, IAI Corporate CTO and EVP of strategy and R&D, told Shephard.
She explained that the Innovation Center ‘is unique in its startup model, which exists inside a stable, well-established company, providing IAI’s engineers with a path for testing ideas and developing a PoC within weeks. The Innovation Center adds to IAI’s technological capabilities that lay the building blocks for our future product lines'.
IAI has developed a line of robotic ground vehicles (including a proposal to meet the Israeli MoD’s Carmel AFV requirement - pictured) and it now wants to give them a greater degree of autonomous operation, including a see-shoot function that will not require any human intervention.
There is nothing new about this objective, which Israeli industry in particular has long pursued, but the closer engagement with AI and robotics start-up companies via the Innovation Center is a clear sign that IAI is pushing harder to develop fully autonomous vehicles.
Eventually, IAI hopes that autonomous ground combat systems will operate in swarms in conjunction with traditional manned vehicles.
Shephard understands that other armies outside Israel have expressed some interest in IAI autonomous technologies, including Australia with Land 400 Phase 2 (for combat reconnaissance vehicles) and Phase 3 (to deliver a mounted close combat capability).
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