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PODCAST: Unmanned surface vessels and the future of Navy, Robert Dane, OCIUS Technology

PODCAST: Unmanned surface vessels and the future of Navy, Robert Dane, OCIUS Technology
Robert Dane with Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

“We can be listening under the sea. We can be observing with cameras the surface of the ocean. We can be listening with electronic sensors for other electronic signatures, and then we can be transmitting them back. One can do that, but a fleet of these things can do so much more. If you had a number of these, for example, off the north of Australia, for a fraction of the cost of a ship, you could have these things out there 24/7, continuous coverage at low cost, and nobody in harm’s way.”

“We can be listening under the sea. We can be observing with cameras the surface of the ocean. We can be listening with electronic sensors for other electronic signatures, and then we can be transmitting them back. One can do that, but a fleet of these things can do so much more. If you had a number of these, for example, off the north of Australia, for a fraction of the cost of a ship, you could have these things out there 24/7, continuous coverage at low cost, and nobody in harm’s way.”

Robert Dane, chief executive and founder of NSW business OCIUS Technology, joins the Defence Connect Podcast to discuss the potential for unmanned surface vessels (USVs) in the defence space and how the technology is continuing to expand to play a key role in filling capability gaps.

Dane has taken his passion for the environment and recreational sailing and, together with the team at OCIUS and its 20-plus years of experience, created the Bluebottle USV – the ‘satellite of the sea. The autonomous data gathering and communications platform offers a unique solar sail, continuous and wide coverage, reduced operational costs and harvests all the weather on the ocean; the sun, the wind and the waves so it can advance under all conditions and can remain at sea for months at a time.

The Intel Environment Laureate and WWF Future Maker recipient takes us through the immense applications the technology can offer defence, its recent success demonstrating its incorporation of a Thales thin line array to allow the Bluebottle to engage in anti-submarine warfare and the USVs potential to aid the Navy and Collins Class submarines before the Future Submarines come online.

Enjoy the podcast,
The Defence Connect team.


Listen to previous episodes of the Defence Connect podcast:

Episode 447: PODCAST: Becoming the world’s most cyber-secure nation, with Cyber Security Minister Clare O’Neil
Episode 446: PODCAST: Local infrastructure – key to delivering Defence capabilities, with Cr Peter Hudson
Episode 445: PODCAST: A growing chorus calls for a national security strategy, with ANU’s Professor John Blaxland
Episode 444: PODCAST: Doing the rounds – the week that was in Defence and defence industry
Episode 443: PODCAST: Unpacking the history of Australia’s defence policy and posture, with Michael Pezzullo
Episode 442: PODCAST: Moving beyond the End of History
Episode 441: SPOTLIGHT: Unlocking Defence performance through infrastructure design, with HDR’s Tim Napper
Episode 440: PODCAST: US Space Force engages with Australian SMEs at AusSpace24
Episode 439: PODCAST: Australia’s growing need for a national security strategy, with Andrew Wallace MP
Episode 438: PODCAST: Delivering Black Hawk in record time and setting the record straight on Army’s Aviation evolution

Announcer: Welcome to the Defence Connect Podcast with your host, Phil Tarrant.

Phil Tarrant: G’day everyone, it's Phil Tarrant here, I'm the host of the Defence Connect Podcast. Thanks for joining us today. I'm going to get a bit nautical today on the Maritime Space, and obviously quite a lot of noise around Defence at the moment, in terms of a lot of the major ship-building campaigns underway to equip us into a very bright future and equipping our navy with some really good capabilities across our surface vessels and also subs.

But in the background of this is some interesting stuff happening in terms of unmanned surface vessels, the need to have sailors out there patrolling or policing or undertaking different operational objectives. A lot of it now can be done autonomously and I've asked Robert Dane into the studio, he's the CEO of a company called Ocius, to give us a bit of an update on the way they see the world in terms of potential for unmanned surface vessels and some pretty interesting tech that they've got out there in the marketplace right now for defence.

Robert, how are you doing?

Robert Dane Really well, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: So, you're a sailor, right? You're a sailor as in sails, not a navy guy.

Robert Dane Mad keen sailor, but unfortunately recently haven't had much time for that.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, is that what work's taken over everything is it?

Robert Dane I love sailing. I guess part of the reason for doing this is I don't like bobbing around when there's no wind, and an unmanned vessel doesn't mind bobbing around when there's no wind.

Phil Tarrant: I know a lot of sailors, and I'm talking about recreational sailors, not navy sailors, sometimes it crosses over. The question is, what is it about sailing that you like so much? Like, everyone's got a different answer to it, but what is it that really makes you go, I just love sailing?

Robert Dane I think it's just being at one with the water. It's just the noise of the water and there's no noise of any engines and you ... Especially, I'm a small vessel sailor, and windsurfer, and Flying Elevens, and small boats, Catamarans. It's the feeling of just being connected to the water and the elements. It's a direct relationship between what's happening, and I guess you haven't got time to think about your mortgage when you're sailing.

Phil Tarrant: Do you like the technicality of sailing. It definitely is a skill set right? Who can read the conditions most effectively is the person that can get along the fastest?

Robert Dane  Well, when I was at university, they invented a sport called windsurfing and I went nuts with that. I think that's a lot of where this has come from, but particularly, as I said, small boat sailing. So not just racing, but also going out in the surf and just being at one with the waves. I was fortunate enough that my sister had a windsurfing thing happening in Hawaii for about 10 years, so every year I'd go over there and go sailing off a place called Spreckelsville, which is a really great place for sailboarding.

Phil Tarrant: Did you transition over to kite surfing?

Robert Dane No, no, but I've been told that's the next thing, and if you have learnt how to sail and windsurf, then it's quite easy to learn how to-

Phil Tarrant: Much easier to pick up.

Robert Dane Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: You stand on the board, at least you can read ... Anyway, we digress. So, for our listeners, I just watched a video that Robert showed us about this vehicle they have, it's an unmanned surfer's vessel, which is doing some interesting stuff in terms of capturing information or being out there in the great blue and doing different things for both our military, but also oil and gas and this sort of stuff. So, can you talk us through what you've created here? I've got a picture in front of me, and it's blue and it's got a sail, which looks like it's got solar panels on it, but what is this thing and what does it do?

Robert Dane It's an 18-foot boat that has nobody on board, and it has a bunch of Australian patented technology that's come out of our 20 years’ experience. Before we did this, we were doing hybrid electric ferries. So, it's got a unique solar sail that folds down into the deck of the vessel when the winds are over 25 knots, but that sail can sail and it also can collect solar energy from dawn until dusk because it can angle to the sun. Then, if there's no sun or wind, then under the water there's a unique rudder, flipper thing, which we've developed, that means that you put no energy into the vessel and it will plug its way through a one to two, three, four metre swirl at half to one knot against the conditions. So, it's able to stay on station and stay safe away from lee shores and things like that.

There are a number of these around the world that have ... It's sort of a very new market. It's got a huge potential, and we can talk about why this has got a huge potential, but there are other companies around the world doing it, but we looked at what was available in this sort of persistent autonomous thing that could go out and stay out in the sea forever and power itself from the power of the ocean. The other things that were out there were quite small, they didn't have much payload capacity. They didn't have much power to power the payload, and they had terrible performance, and they would get stuck in currents.

So, our research and development over the last five years has been along the idea of, through model testing and tank testing and a prototype before this, our aim was to be able to carry a significant payload. In this case, we can carry 100 to 300 kilograms at a significant speed, and we can do five to six knots. We can power that payload with significant power 24/7, and if we have eight hours sun, we can power the payload with about 50 watts continuously. If we get eight hours sun a day, we can do 10 days at a minimum sort of 20 watts, and we can give maximum bursts of power of kilowatts for periods of time. So we looked at what was out there and we thought what have we done and what can we do. Our main focus was to give an unmanned vessel that had the power and the payload and the performance for Australian conditions, particularly to get out of currents.

Phil Tarrant: So obviously the tech's pretty cool, and we'll touch on that for a sec, but the purpose of this. So why ... So we've got this thing. This is a boat that is in the middle of the ocean, and it's autonomous, and you can park it out there indefinitely as long as the thing doesn't break down, pretty much. Why do we need this?

Robert Dane Any sort of data collecting and transmitting that data back. So, for example, in defence we've just demonstrated over the last two years, we did our final demonstration to navy in August of incorporating a Thales Thin Line Array to do anti-submarine warfare. So, we can tow an array, we can process the data, and we can transmit that data back. It's also got applications to, for example, be the squad leader for other underwater vessels. It could also be a gateway communication between something in the air, for example, an unmanned aerial vehicle or a satellite, and something under the water, for example, a submarine. It can do other things in defence, such as we've got cameras and other things on it. So it's got a lot of applications in defence.

The main advantage of this, why we need it, is because Australia has got 11% of the world's oceans to look after, and we've got .3% of the world's population. The current ways we monitor our oceans is with satellites and planes and manned ships, and they can't be out there all the time, and they're very expensive, and they are subject to people and assets being put in harm's way. So, to be able to do it with a robot that can power itself is a very low capital cost, and very low running costs.

Phil Tarrant: So essentially Indian Ocean, this is sentinel, you chuck it out there and say, "You stay here and you look for anything under the sea or in the air, and you tell us about it."

Robert Dane Yeah, anything. We can be listening under the sea. We can be observing with cameras the surface of the ocean. We can be listening with electronic sensors for other electronic signatures, and then we can be transmitting them back. One can do that, but a fleet of these things can do so much more. If you had a number of these, for example, off the north of Australia, for a fraction of the cost of a ship, you could have these things out there 24/7, continuous coverage at low cost, and as I said, nobody in harm's way.

Phil Tarrant: So, they sound like pretty reasonable selling points. Is that resonating with defence?

Robert Dane There is a lot of interest in defence in Australia and around the world in this technology. One of our competitors in America, Liquid Robotics, which is a platform that carries much less payload, it has proven the market for gateway communications and oceanography, and that company was just bought by Boeing for over 200 million US dollars. So there's definitely a market out there because of all those reasons I just mentioned.

Phil Tarrant: So this particular vessel, and imagine, as you said, they can work in unison, in a pack or networked. How do you tell it what to do?

Robert Dane Right now we ... This single vessel that we have has autonomous sailing and mission planning. So we give it a mission, once it's launched from the boat ramp it will go out and do its mission.

Phil Tarrant: So what would be the mission? Go here, go to these different way points?

Robert Dane I can show you. If you look on YouTube, there's a mission where we write the word Ocius in the ocean in mile high letters. There's ... We can do multiple way points. There are other videos where we can demonstrate a number of way points and then if it loses communications or it finishes its missions, then it has a number of set programs. It'll either stay on station, or do the mission again, or come home, depending on how you set it.

Then if you had them in a network, currently we are based at the University of New South Wales and we're working with the computer science people there who have these little robots that play soccer in a team, and they talk to each other via radio, and we're working with them to do fleet control of a fleet, or an armada of Bluebottles, such that you would give the fleet the mission, and the fleet would work out which one would go, which one would play offence, which one would play defence, which one would play goalie, just to use that sort of analogy, themselves. Then any ones that get tired or low on batteries, they can rest and recharge, or any one that is sick would come in, for example, into Darwin, and be cleaned up and have its bottom cleaned and thrown out again and join the fleet so that if you lose one, you lose a pixel, but you don't lose the full picture of what you're looking at.

Phil Tarrant: I've come back from San Francisco this week. I was just in Silicon Valley learning about tech disruption and all this sort of stuff, it's really cool, in particular, sort of AI. Is the application for this into the future that these things will be smart enough to be able to tell themselves what to do based on the learnings of data they've collected? Is that where this is going?

Robert Dane We're-

Phil Tarrant: You're there now?

Robert Dane We're talking ... The research we're doing with the university has got words like 'artificial intelligence,' 'disseminated intelligence,' 'machine learning,' words that I don't really fully understand, but what I understand is the output of that, which is you would have an admiral, who is like the coach, who would train the pack to do a mission or do multiple missions, and then the weather and the opposition would be the wild factors and the wild cards that the group would have to, as a disseminated intelligence, work out how to best respond to that. It may well be if one hears something or sees something, it cues something in the air and other drones to take photos, take signatures of that, or angle themselves into an array sort of formation so that you get a trigonometry and you get a much better picture of what is actually there.

Phil Tarrant: So in terms of your manufacture advancement, where you are in this stage, is this the prototype?

Robert Dane Yeah. The system we've just developed with Thales is TRL level five to six, and we're aiming in the next 12 months to improve that level of that system to seven or eight.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Robert Dane: The TRL level of the vessel itself is seven. So we're looking within ... There's a thing called Autonomous Warrior 2018 coming up in November of next year and we're very much involved in discussions about how we could participate in that doing a number of the missions that they're talking about, the gateway communications, the anti-submarine warfare aspects to it, and we're aiming to build a number of further Bluebottles for that, so that we would have two or three in a network and they would be ready for procurement.

Phil Tarrant: So how far into the future is it where we see these painted greys and there's a fleet of them sitting off the coast or Australia somewhere?

Robert Dane: I think it's easy to predict the future, it's hard to get the timing right. So I would say that in 2018, we'll have these ready for procurement. That's 14 years before the future subs arrive. So I see these as being particularly ... Filling a gap that could aid the Collins-class submarines in that gap period, and then of course aid the future subs. I think these things will definitely be out there at some point in the future.

Phil Tarrant: In terms of anti-submarine warfare, how visible is this? If this is sitting out somewhere, is it easy to spot?

Robert Dane With the sail down, it's definitely difficult to spot at water.

Phil Tarrant: So it's got a really low signature, has it?

Robert Dane Yeah. It's very quiet. One of the pluses for it, in the sense ... What we found from the testing with the Thales Array was that we got better results than expected because the vessel itself is so quiet. So it was only on 80 metres of cable, but the sensor can pick up more because the vessel's very quiet. That's the first advantage, the second advantage is the vessel's very quiet, therefore it's hard for anyone else to know exactly where it is. That's the first thing, and plus, as I mentioned, we could camouflage these. Right now we have AIS collision avoidance software, passive radar reflectors, some flags on it. We have all sorts of things to try and make ourselves visible, but equally you could lower that mast and have something that's much less visible.

Phil Tarrant: Some of the seas surrounding Australia are pretty scary and angry.

Robert Dane Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: What sort of beating can it take?

Robert Dane Well, we've tested up to Beau Fort five.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Robert Dane It's designed to go excess of Beau Fort seven. It's designed by the fellows who for the last 10 ... One of the ferries we built when we were building ferries was designed by some naval architects in Kogarah called One2three. They helped us build a ferry in Shanghai, and then over the last 10 years they've become quite famous for chopping up Wild Oats. So when it came to building, after we'd done this model testing and the tank testing, and built our first prototype, for this one we went to them and said, "Here's all our data. Would you like to design this?" And they said, "We'd love to." So it's got a really good design, a good heritage of Sydney to Hobart type of heritage.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, that's one of the toughest races in the world.

Robert Dane And it's built by ... All the laminates and things were worked out by some expert laminate people, and it was built by Steber International in Taree, who are well renowned Australian boat builders and weight is a friend, we're not trying to ... You know, five to six knots hull speed is what we're trying to do, we're not trying to fly. So it's very heavy, sturdy, strong vessel, and built by good people.

Phil Tarrant: And built by Australians as well.

Robert Dane But we haven't tested it yet in Beau Fort seven because we've only got one of them. We don't want to lose this one yet, but eventually in the coming months we're going to be doing testing with an oil and gas company to map some pipelines, and also we've had good discussions with the AMSA people in Canberra and the New South Wales transport authority about getting an area off the New South Wales coast that we can designate for the testing of unmanned machines, and that could be air, sea, us in sub-sea stuff. So leading up to Autonomous Warrior next year, we'll be doing a lot of endurance testing, firstly in a designated box and then we'll be doing other missions outside of that.

Phil Tarrant: So obviously this is the maritime industry keeping up with technology advances, but what is the genesis of this? Is this a requirement that's come from your customers, i.e. government, oil, and gas? Or is this a, you guys are really smart and you've got some really intelligent people who have gone, "Hang on a second, we can create this, let's find an application for it," so where does it sit?

Robert Dane As I said, we started in 2000 in the hybrid electric ferry business, and in about 2007 in the GFC, I was talking at a conference in New York about ferries and some people from Washington came up and said, "Can you build a self-sustaining platform that can go to sea forever?" And I just said, "How much power do you need?" And they said, "We need 10 watts minimum for 10 days, and we need 50 watts average, and we need kilowatts for bursts." So we went away and we started thinking about what business we should be in and, as I said, the ferry business at that point was pretty tough because the oil price was about $30, so there was no real compelling reason, and a green electric ferry is a nice to have thing. Whereas, the capability of going to sea forever, limited by fueling, but virtually unlimited endurance is a unique capability. So we started looking at the technology we developed, and battery management, and solar, and the patterns we had. We just literally started building scale models and testing them in tanks and then out on lakes. In 2015, we built a 10-foot prototype, which we called Nemo, which means unmanned, and we took that out and that proved that we could have the power and the payload and the performance.

Phil Tarrant: Obviously the application is primarily intelligence gathering, communications etc. Are you going to start seeing these things 10 times bigger and armed at some point in time? Is that the future?

Robert Dane Not the immediate future. Before we did our demonstration to navy, I asked the Wild Oats Naval Architects, you know, we can put two of these in a shipping container, and I said, "What would happen in a 20-foot shipping container?" I said, "What would happen if we had a 40-foot shipping container? What would a 38-foot one look like?" And they said, "Well, you could carry a tonne and a half at nine knots." So there is a scaling thing that we can do, and that's one of our advantages over our competitors, if we scale up we can actually carry more and go faster, but right now this concept is being really well received by navy and for the amount of payload we can carry. So for the immediate future we're focusing on being the truck and carrying whatever payloads people want to carry, and keeping them out there and powering them indefinitely.

Phil Tarrant: How do you view your business? Are you guys manufacturers? Are you guys a maritime business? Are you a technology business? Who are you?

Robert Dane We're a systems integrator and technology business. So we wouldn't be building boats, we wouldn't be designing boats, we basically have that done by experts, but we install all the gear. Our business model would be to maybe sell some of these to customers who could then put their own payload in them and then on sell them, or we could be basically running these as a system. If these things are out there doing, for example, monitoring up north of Australia, they could also be doing weather stuff and Bureau of Meteorology and even tsunami warning stuff. How you ... My sort of concept of operation is you would have a number of these off the coast of north Australia and all you need is a boat ramp and a shed and one could come in every day and be cleaned and put out there. If you had 300 of these off Darwin, then if there was a cyclone, for example, where the cyclone makes landfall is where the low pressure is. So if you know where the low pressure is on the ocean, you can predict where the cyclone will make landfall. So just even for that reason alone, there's a compelling argument that we should be protecting Australia with Bluebottles, which sounds ironic.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. I see the application, both in a civil and a military context. Obviously there's some way to go before we see these things patrolling and policing Australia's borders, which is great to see that, or to think that we can actually have that into the future. How are you guys going about funding the R&D as part of this, and then looking into a production phase, how do you guys go about doing that?

Robert Dane We're a public unlisted company. We have 160 shareholders who started back when we were in the ferry business, and they've been absolutely terrific. Our chairman while we were in the ferry business was The Honourable Bob Hawke, and he was absolutely fantastic in supporting us. Our chairman now is a guy called Mark Bethwaite, who's an Olympic sailor and a ward of Australia for business. We have, up until two years ago, funded ourselves through basically engineering work and government grants and shareholder's investment. We've had about 14 million in revenue, and about 10 million investments, and about a million in grants, and then in 2015 we got a three million dollar contract to develop one specifically for ASW with Thales, and we've been invited to apply to the defence innovation hub for sort of a CTD extension.

Phil Tarrant: How have you found the defence innovation hub?

Robert Dane I've found them fantastic. I mean, again, I'm a newbie to defence, and when we started doing prototypes five years ago, it was literally ... People would say, "Unless the Americans buy it, the Australians aren't going to buy it." It's almost a reverse psychology thing. Even though you say you're better than the competition, they're not going to buy it. That is being completely turned on its head, I believe, not only in words, but in actual effect by Minister Pyne, and the defence innovation hub, and the support of Australian SMEs. So we're kind of, as I said, new to defence, but we're based at a university, we're working with defence primes, we're working with fantastic Australian boat builders, and designers. We're in a really good place right now.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, and as you've embarked down that road of engaging defence and understanding the nuances of defence industry, if you can go back to before you started and could tell yourself one thing that you would do differently, what would it be?

Robert Dane It's a good question. I do things different now than I did in the past. I think focus is the thing. So what we did in the past was we would, if somebody wanted any sort of ferry, we would, "We can do that." What we're doing now is obviously listening to the customers, looking at what the opposition have got, and picking a product that we can really focus on. So we still get inquiries for ferries, and we get inquiries for sales on larger ships.

Phil Tarrant: And you're happy to build that stuff?

Robert Dane And we're happy to just push that down the road five years, or whatever, because there's a whole bunch of barriers to entry. I guess I'm not a business person, I didn't come to this from business, but what I have learnt is about the barriers to entry into a market, and in defence, the people you meet are all ... It's a matter of finding the right person. Everyone you meet is very helpful, but it's a matter of finding the right people. What I've learnt is that, right now, you don't want to put people in harm's way. So that's what-

Phil Tarrant: Which is a great application for it.

Robert Dane Yeah. People in defence are people, and they're looking after people, and that's where, when it all comes down to it, where we've got a compelling proposition.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, and on the investment side, you mentioned you've got a number of private investors, are they just sailing buddies who like the idea of this? What's attracting people to invest in something like this? Is it this future application of interesting stuff like this?

Robert Dane Yeah, most of those investors are people that either worked for the company early on, probably 20 of them, and we just gave them a bit of paper.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Robert Dane And the other people have come along and have been attracted with small investments. Recently we've had interest from venture capitalists, and if we look at where are we on the curve of that company I mentioned in America that has just been bought by Boeing, we're right down here at the beginning, but their track record was they raised 35 million, then they raised some more money, and then they were up to 50 people and 400 units, and then they got bought. So our aim is to keep it in Australia. Our aim, if we can, is to run this as a business. We are talking to venture capitalists right now. We are in the process of trying to raise a bit of money.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. So those sort of VC guys, what's the sort of common questions they ask about this? Because they're obviously looking for ... Invest in this, and there's obviously sail opportunities at some point in time, but what is it about this particular solution, this particular offering, this product, that really excites them?

Robert Dane From a strategic investor's point of view, it's how it fits in with their products. So there is one group we're talking to who has got a product that could go on this, that could-

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so this could be a platform for them to put their product on?

Robert Dane Exactly.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, makes sense.

Robert Dane Then the other investors we're talking to are non strategic, and they're really just looking at milestones. So we started talking about a value when we passed the CTD. We talked about a value and we get the next thing going. So we're just moving up the curve as fast as we can because I think it's a race basically. I think there are a number of products out there that can do this. We've got, I believe, the superior design because we sort of started ... We weren't the ... In the ferry business, we were the pioneers. Whereas in this, we're actually the fast moving follower, and we can look at the business mistakes others have made, and also the technical mistakes, and a lot of these companies are embedded in their design that has flaws in lack of payload space and lack of power and lack of speed, which is maybe alright in the Gulf of Mexico or somewhere, but in Australia we've got currents and rough seas.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, and I guess to bookend this chat, going back to my question about why you love sailing so much, this product, this vehicle you've created, how much if its success do you think is because of this really intimate understanding of the ocean and how these things are going to be operating out there in the seas? It must be pretty critical?

Robert Dane I think so, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, enjoyed the chat. Thanks Robert.

Robert Dane Thanks Phil.

Phil Tarrant: It's ... You know, at Defence Connect we obviously want to champion Aussie businesses doing some great and bright things, both for domestic application capability building, but also the export opportunities for Aussie businesses, and through history we've been known as innovators and great builders of stuff, but I think we sort of under subscribe or perhaps under weigh on a global stage. So I know the government's firmly behind championing export potential. I know Chris Pyne's looking to really boost that, and there's some great things on the way right now in terms of government incentives to try and get Aussie businesses building great stuff at home that can be used at home and abroad, so keep it up mate, it's good.

Robert Dane I'm not stopping, don't worry.

Phil Tarrant: Nice, well when we ... What's happening in 2018?

Robert Dane It's called Autonomous Warrior.

Phil Tarrant: Autonomous Warrior.

Robert Dane And it's a war game between the five-eyes countries. They had one in 2016 where it was called Unmanned Warrior, and now they're cranking it up a bit to calling it Autonomous Warriors, so this is on a level less of humans being ... Like remote control things, that's passed. Now we're talking about autonomy.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. We'll make sure we cover it and let's see how we go.

Robert Dane It's just been announced. There was something on the website the other day, it's going to be ... It's at Jarvis Bay. So it was in Scotland two years ago. Now it's in Jarvis Bay, so-

Phil Tarrant: Successful.

Robert Dane Yeah, so it's our backyard mate.

Phil Tarrant: That's great.

Robert Dane We've got the home court advantage.

Phil Tarrant: There we go. It's good to always have the home court advantage, but yeah, thanks Robert, it's good mate.

Robert Dane Thank you.

Phil Tarrant: We'll write some stuff up on this as well and maybe share some of those videos as well. So we'll chuck up on defenceconnect.com.au, and-

Robert Dane I've got a video I'm really proud of.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, okay, we'll get it up online. We'll get it up online. Thanks everyone for tuning in. Remember to check out defenceconnect.com.au. If you're not yet subscribing to our daily market intelligence news bulletin, please do, defenceconnect.com.au/subscribe. We're on all the social stuff. If you'd like to any comments for the team, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or if you want to come on the show, get in touch and we'll come on and share your story. We'll be back again next time. Until then, bye bye.