Israeli tactical ground robotic systems developer Roboteam announced that it has won a tender to supply the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) with dozens of remotely controlled robotic systems.
While the value of the deal has not been specified, it is estimated to be worth millions of dollars. Roboteam was awarded the bid through its partnership with Trakka Tech, an Australian provider of solutions for critical mission requirements.
In support of the project and client, Roboteam will establish a dedicated robotics support laboratory in Australia that will also handle the company’s numerous clients in the Asia Pacific region.
Roboteam says it was the only bidder to offer a complete solution that won in all three categories. The solution includes a robot family that operates with MESH communication (one network that enables transmission) and can be controlled from one single control unit. This marks the first time that the company has provided such a comprehensive solution.
Three robotic systems will be supplied to the NZDF:
Transportable Interoperable Ground Robot (TIGR): Launched last year, the TIGR is designed to handle suspicious packages, hazardous materials, and information gathering. The robot weighs 80 kg, enabling two personnel to lift it into any vehicle. Highly maneuverable on all terrains and in all conditions, the TIGR is equipped with an advanced arm reaching six degrees of freedom (DOF) and with high lifting capacities. In addition, the system has advanced means of photography and observation (day/night/thermal vision) for ISR missions.
Micro Tactical Ground Robot (MTGR): An advanced robotic platform weighing approximately 10 kilograms, the MTGR can be carried by a single person and affords 360-degree peripheral vision with an advanced arm capable of four degrees of freedom. The lightweight system is also able to climb stairways and run in an urban environment, both indoors and underground.
Individual Robotic Intelligence System (IRIS): The IRIS is a miniature, deployable and ruggedized unmanned vehicle system weighing only 1.5 kg and able to operate in small, cramped environments, transferring an image operator to an Android device or to the unified control unit. The IRIS system has already been widely distributed and has won numerous tenders around the world.
All company robots were developed to meet the advanced American JAUS/IOP standards, which enable a generic connection of means on the system according to a specific task. For example, sensors for the detection of hazardous materials in biologic events, laser by means of observation, and more.
A significant component of the system is the software and algorithms. These enable the system operator to perform advanced and complex operations on the battlefield, all the while using and managing an array of autonomous capabilities consisting of a large number of platforms and sensors.
“We are proud that the New Zealand Defense Force has chosen our family of life-saving robotic platforms as a comprehensive solution to its operational needs,” said Roboteam CEO Elad Levy. “This choice demonstrates the superiority of the advanced technological solution we have developed in recent years, which consists of various systems, each unique in their own right, and with the added operational value of the systems working as a single unit. We will continue to develop and improve the innovative operational concept that is being offered to other users around the world, and we believe that this is only the first step that will lead to additional successes.”