This is a joint effort of the Centre of Expertise with the RAS-unit of the Royal Netherlands Army. RAS stands for Robots and Autonomous Systems, in which the Dutch Army is investigating over the next two years how robots and autonomous systems can support soldiers. The applied research in cooperation with RAS is done at operational units of the 13th Light Brigade in Oirschot. Article about RAS and Fontys participation in Link-magazine.
Units of the Army are acting independently in hazardous areas. To be able to do this safely and effectively, they practice a lot and under realistic circumstances. At shooting ranges and training grounds, individual and collective fighting skills are practiced, such as target recognition, firing at a target and moving from coverage to firing position. The exercises consist of both technology, such as shooting and tactics, such as moving to a favorable position.
A prototype of a Smart Tactical Robot is developed to be used as target on a military training location. First prototypes have already been made by Fontys ICT students using simulators and dummy robots. A next step is to drive with the robots on Clearpath Jackal hardware. The next challenge is to add more complex behavior to the robot and being able to show better situational awareness, initiative and adaptability. The overall behavior of the robot should in the end be controlled by a human instructor. Furthermore, the robots must be able to work collectively in a team.