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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

13 May 2014

AUVSI 2014: RUAG’s UGVs Going from Strength to Strength

RUAG Defence, a strategic partner of international land forces, is continuing to invest in and develop its robotics technology. Already the company’s retrofitable VERO system contains all the electronic components and sophisticated sensory equipment needed to convert any existing vehicle to perform with supervised autonomy .To further enhance the capabilities of the system it took part in field tests in early May relating to obstacle recognition using lasers.

RUAG VERO System integrated in an General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) EAGLE IV. (Photo: RUAG)

Robustness is the cornerstone of RUAG’s approach to robotics. For UGVs to finally take their rightful place in operations they must be able to function with no exceptions. This relies on the security and effectiveness of the communications link. Thanks to RUAG’s experience in secure communications, through the company’s wider applications, it is able to guarantee that the link to the vehicle will be maintained.

Cameras and sensors, used in conjunction with RUAG software, allow any vehicle fitted with the VERO system to learn a route to drive or alternatively the route can be programmed using a simple interface. The vehicle will then drive the route at the request of its operator, constantly scanning the area around it for obstacles and threats and relaying that information to a central control station and the operator. Alternatively the vehicle can be operated simply using remote control. The dual operation modes have been developed to provide maximum flexibility during deployment.

Vehicles fitted with the VERO system operate with supervised autonomy, the highest level of autonomy currently available on the market and that most desired by forces. This autonomy state keeps a human “in the loop” always knowing what the vehicle is doing and able to intervene if necessary. This operator is constantly fed with information and can sit either within sight of the vehicle or kilometres away.

UGVs are set to play an ever increasing role as part of forces deployed into a combat theatre, with studies suggesting investment will break the one billion U$ mark by 2021. RUAG remains committed to further invest in, develop and test unmanned vehicle technology.

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