Unmanned Vehicles

Singapore Airshow 2020: Singapore rolls out the robots

13th February 2020 - 10:00 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Singapore

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Several types of UGV made their appearance on the stand of ST Engineering at Singapore Airshow 2020, ranging from the well-known THeMIS to a small follow-me robot.

The company is cooperating with Milrem Robotics of Estonia to integrate a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and 12.7mm machine gun on the THeMIS. This weapon combination is known as the ST Engineering Adder DM 40/50.

The resultant tracked vehicle is designated the Dual-Mount Large-Scale UGV, and an official said it is designed for use at company level. Live firing was completed in Estonia  in 2019, and the nearly 350kg stabilised Adder system — containing 32 40mm grenades and 100 12.7mm rounds — is capable of target tracking.

Moving down in size, ST Engineering displayed its Adder Micro UGV, which is designed for squad use. This smaller tracked platform’s Adder Micro RWS touts twin 5.56mm Ultimax 100 light machine guns. They can be fired singly or simultaneously, and the mounting offers a -20° to +60° elevation range.

The Micro Adder UGV has a tele-operable range of 500m, and its size makes it better suited for use in confined or urban areas. It was developed solely by ST Engineering, and can be controlled by a single operator using a 10in (25cm) touchscreen.

As part of its Advanced Robotics Engagement System research, ST also showed a manned-unmanned teaming concept for an even smaller UGV: a wheeled robot called SSD-G8D that is designed to follow soldiers.

The SSD-G8D can carry portions of a soldier’s combat load when he is on the move, and provides a platform with wireless charging for a micro-UAV to ensure situation awareness.

On the battlefield, the soldier can send this small rotary-wing UAV ahead to scout the terrain. It is controlled by a special grip with a joystick and buttons on the operator’s rifle, while imagery collected by the aircraft is transmitted to the soldier’s goggles. 

ST Engineering described this as a ‘heads up, eyes out and hands on trigger’ system.

The company is also working on a tactical cloud controller that allows UAVs to perform functions such as facial recognition. Using a tactical edge computer engine, it could alternatively connect a wearable camera, ground sensor or vehicle to the cloud.

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