Robotic Technology in Defence
In a futuristic battlefield, which would rely widely on precision guided weapons and virtual platforms, Robotic technology is going to play a pivotal role. Presently, the use of robotics with the military and paramilitary forces, especially in India, is limited to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or for landmine and explosive research. A few armies from the developed world are using them for counter terrorism purpose. The use of robotic technology, programmed with artificial intelligence applications can cater to the most vital roles in aerial combat and also in tactical battle areas. Increasing militarization of robots will be a reality soon and India has a huge challenge to catch up with the developments in this area.
Last year, the Indian Army had taken the delivery of the indigenously built Daksh robots. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Daksh is an electrically powered and remotely controlled robot used for locating, handling and destroying hazardous objects safely. The primary role of a battery-operated robot on wheels is to recover improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It locates IEDs with an X-ray machine, picks them up with a gripper-arm and defuses them with a jet of water. Daksh has a shotgun which can break open locked doors, and scan cars for explosives. It can even climb staircases, negotiate steep slopes, navigate narrow corridors and tow away vehicles.
In order to test the use of robots in tactical battle area, French and German troops conducted an experiment. It demonstrated advanced war fighting concepts introduced by modern command and control systems and evaluate the effectiveness of digitisation in combat area. The forces operating in the experiment included a command centre, some armoured vehicles, robots, drones and a group of soldiers. The robots were also tested for autonomous operations in a battle situation.
– Ajinkya Kanchar