DSTO shows off two new Land Warfare robots

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DSTO shows off two new Land Warfare robots

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) demonstrated two new robots at the Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane this week.

SPIKER (pictured) stands for Special Purpose IED Killer Experimental Robot. It’s a remotely controlled tracked vehicle which deploys a number of different devices, including explosives, to render improvised explosive devices (IEDs) safe.

The robot has thick tank-like tracks, a camera and other sensors. IEDs can appear in backpacks or parcels, so SPIKER is designed to use a variety of sensory inputs to detect bombs.

Warren Snowdon, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, was on hand to launch SPIKER.

“Innovations like this robot are part of DSTO’s program to support our troops on operation in various theatres, particularly in the Middle East,” Snowdon said.

Also on display was RASP, the Remote Advanced Sensor Platform. It’s another remotely controlled vehicle which DSTO developed to identify radioactive threats from a distance.

SPIKER and RASP were built as part of the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) Program, which is currently working on 33 different projects and had a budget of $25 million this financial year.

The DSTO displayed two more technologies from the CTD program at the conference: flexible solar panels to generate power during operations in the field, and a smart power management system which provides a miniature energy source for multiple devices carried by soldiers, so they can operate more effectively over longer periods with less weight.

“These are only some examples of innovative technologies that can be achieved when DSTO and industry work together to enhance Defence capability in priority areas,” Snowdon said.

“These technologies are vital for carrying out dirty and dangerous work and helping to save the lives of our soldiers.”

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