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Milrem Exhibits Off-Road Autonomy

Milrem Exhibits Off-Road Autonomy

Milrem Robotics has shown the intelligent functionality of its iMUGS [Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System] project for the first time in public, the company stated on 11 August.

iMUGS, which aims at development of a European standardised unmanned ground system/vehicle (UGS/UGV), is supported by seven EU member states: Milrem’s home nation, Estonia, leads the project, with participation from Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia and Spain.

The autonomy demonstration was conducted using two THeMIS UGVs, the first following a human operator negotiating various obstacles along a path, the second following a scenario in which the operator took control of the first UGV using line-of-sight (LoS) control, setting the second THeMIS to follow the first one from waypoint A to B. After succeeding in this, the second THeMIS was commanded to return home via Milrem’s Intelligent Functions Integration Kit’s (MIFIK) Mission Planner.

While en route, the operator demonstrated the system’s obstacle detection and auto-stop features by stepping in front of its path. When the path was again clear, the vehicle continued to its destination.

Intelligent functions are a crucial part of unmanned systems, as they allow soldiers to concentrate on their mission, rather than focusing on operating the system. Unmanned ground systems with follow-me, return home, and point-to-point navigation functionalities considerably enhance the fighting capability of units,” commented Jüri Pajuste, the company’s Defence R&D Director.

CEO Kuldar Väärsi added “MIFIK will be delivered to several THeMIS users around the world already this year. Starting from 2022, certified autonomous and intelligent functions will be part of THeMIS’ basic configuration. THeMIS + MIFIK users will receive annual updates with new capabilities and enhancements.”

During the iMUGS demonstration, the consortium partners  highlighted the potential deployment of THeMIS in combination with both manned platforms and UAS – using the Artec BOXER IFV and drones from both Acecore Technologies and Atlas Dynamics. Two separate scenarios were played out in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces. In the first, the THeMIS integrated with Acecore’s tethered drone was operated in beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) mode, and was used to detect and target an enemy position, facilitating an indirect fire mission, subsequent to which an after-action review was conducted using the drone footage. The purpose of the second scenario was to retrieve a casualty from a crashed vehicle and subsequently retrieve the vehicle. Both actions were performed with the THeMIS UGV while the BOXER towed the UGV into the mission area and the Atlas drone provided overwatch and situational awareness.

For a brief video showing the highlights of the autonomy demonstration, click here:

https://youtu.be/-LK38ozY0hs

 

The THeMIS UGV forms the basis of much of the experimentation currently being conducted within the iMUGS programme. (Photo: Milrem Robotics)

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Publish date

08/15/2021

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