A Perth-based robotics company has been tasked with developing a remotely operated autonomous system for use in evacuating casualties from the battlefield.
West Australian technology company Chironix has signed a $160,000 contract with Defence to deliver a robotic command and control system designed to safely evacuate casualties from the battlefield using an autonomous vehicle.
The command and control system, currently at the proof-of-concept stage, is also expected to enable deployed soldiers to request supplies or perform other logistical tasks robotically.
As part of the agreement with Defence, Chironix has also been tasked with exploring the use of driverless technology in vehicle convoys across a range of difficult military environments.
Reflecting on the agreement, Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Perth-based firm demonstrated its robotics and software engineering capabilities through its engagements with Defence and the US Office of Naval Research.
“Technological evolution and innovation in land combat and protected vehicle capability is integral to giving Australia a warfighting edge,” Minister Price said.
“A key contributor to this will be the development of a robust, resilient and internationally competitive Australian defence industry.
“It is for that reason that the Morrison government is proud to partner with Chironix and invest in developing autonomous systems capabilities.
Minister Price added: “Our investment helps create a highly skilled workforce and intellectual property that will enable the ongoing and agile evolution of land combat and protected vehicle technologies.”
According to federal member for Curtin, Celia Hammond MP, the partnership between Defence and Chironix would help support Western Australia’s local defence industry, and advance its reputation as a home for defence research and innovation.
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“Chironix is showing just how capable our defence industry is not only here in WA, but right across Australia and across the world,” Hammond said.
“This sort of technology has the potential to be a game-changer for our soldiers on the front line and I am so impressed that is being developed here in Osborne Park.”