A Brisbane-based robotics and AI company has secured funds to develop a next-generation unmanned combat capability.
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The Commonwealth government has awarded a $3.3 million contract to technology company Cyborg Dynamics Engineering to fund the development of its semi-autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV).
As part of the contract, awarded via the Defence Innovation Hub, Cyborg Dynamics is expected to integrate a number of local technologies into a modular, robotic platform, which could enhance the load carriage, fire support capabilities and protection of dismounted soldiers.
The firm is also set to explore on-board AI target recognition and advanced driving technologies, which could support a single person operation.
This is tipped to improve in-field soldier capabilities and lethality and reduce operator risk by supporting a robotic-assisted force.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price congratulated the firm on its receipt of the award, noting the potential benefits for the Australian Defence Force and local industry.
“The government’s investment in innovation through the Defence Innovation Hub is critical to ensuring Defence maintains a capability advantage as Australia’s strategic environment continues to rapidly evolve,” Minister Price said.
Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Assistant Minister for Women, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations and Senator for Queensland Amanda Stoker reflected on the benefits of the deal for the local community.
“This is a first-of-its-kind and a testament to Queensland’s innovation prowess,” Senator Stoker said.
“I’m pleased to see Brisbane’s increasing contribution to strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.”
This latest Defence Innovation Hub contract comes just a week after Victorian company QinetiQ secured a $5.4 million contract to deliver a deployable micro-grid designed to address an increase in demand for power in the changing battlespace.
The firm is expected to work alongside the University of Melbourne, leveraging advanced energy management algorithms.
[Related: Victorian firm lands defence innovation deal]