THE modern battlefield requires soldiers who are able to adapt quickly to any mission and as robots join them, they’ll have to do the same.
At the Singapore Airshow 2016 this week, Estonian defence company Milrem took the wraps off its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System ( THeMIS) — a compact battlewagon billed as the “first- of- its- kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle ( UGV)” that acts as a multi- mission vehicle platform to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield.
According to Milrem, the key to THeMIS is its modular design. In other words, it’s a bit like one of those toy building kits where you swap out various bits and pieces to create different machines. In the case of THeMIS, the basic system consists of a pair of tracked pods separated by a central platform.
Each pod has independent electronics as well as power packs that are either electric or diesel driven. When they’re assembled they form a two- track remote controlled or autonomous robot weighing in at 700 kg with the capability of carrying the same in payload. Top speed is 50 km/ h and the THeMIS can run for eight hours on a full battery charge and fuel tank.
Milrem says that this modular approach reduces costs, allows new versions of the UGV to be developed quickly and simplifies maintenance.
In addition, the platform allows the vehicle to carry a number of modules for different missions, such as communications relay, medevac, training, mine clearance, supply transport, weapons platform for infantry and anti- tank operations, lifting, UAV base, or firefighting.
Like an old fashioned luggage trolley with tank tracks, the THeMIS can carry a load over most areas.