During EW Live Milrem Robotics deployed their THeMIS UGV equipped with ST Engineering’s ADDER DM remote weapon station 160419 CREDIT Business Wire.jpg
Technology

How Could Ground Robots Change Warfare?

Robotic warfare systems could greatly enhance the capabilities of armed forces.

During EW Live Milrem Robotics deployed their THeMIS UGV equipped with ST Engineering’s ADDER DM remote weapon station 160419 CREDIT Business Wire.jpg

UGV equipped with a remote weapon station (Picture: Business Wire).

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are a game changer in warfare and can greatly enhance the capabilities of armed forces, academics have concluded.

An international three-piece study conducted by Milrem Robotics suggests robotic warfare systems such as UGVs could become key disruption assets in the battlefield.

"The range of possibilities with military robots is immense and will very likely be one of the major changes in the art of warfare in the future," wrote Gérard de Boisboissel, a research engineer at Research Centre Schools of Saint-Cyrone who took part in the study.

How was the study carried out?

During the research, military and academic experts looked at how UGVs can be used to support land operations. 

Milrem Robotics deployed one of their unmanned ground vehicles.

The UGV was equipped with a remote weapon station a multirotor. The multirotor was used to identify targets and the remote weapon station to engage with them.

The Army tested remote-controlled vehicles during 2018's Exercise Autonomous Warrior

"Using the integration of unmanned ground and aerial systems to identify and engage targets reduces the risk to soldiers who can stay in a safe distance," explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.

"It increases the efficiency and firepower of small units significantly."

Are there other uses for UGVs in warfare?

Further examples of how warfare could benefit from unmanned ground vehicles were also provided. 

Exercise Autonmous Warrior
What impact could remote controlled vehicles have on future battlefields?

Robert Clark, a British Army instructor, and James Rogers, from the Henry Jackson Society, explained UGVs would be crucial casualty evacuation tools with possibility of setting pre-designated waypoints and the ability to carry at several casualties.

"This potentially results in a casualty being extracted much quicker to receive treatment, it additionally frees up vital manpower during the battle," they said.

The results of the research demonstrated the capabilities and cooperation between unmanned systems and they were presented on Monday during the EW Live 2019 held in Tartu, Estonia.

The investigation was split into three books published between December 2016 and April 2019.