On the battlefield of the future, autonomous robots will be hired to support ground troops or fight. This war of tomorrow is being prepared today in Estonia in a special training area.
The war of robots is for tomorrow and the producers are preparing it robotrobot soldiers now have a dedicated playground. It was in Estonia, in the training area of the small country’s Army Defense Forces, that eleven international companies, from nine countries, were able to demonstrate the capabilities of their autonomous robots.
For two days, these tests were conducted on dirt roads, small forest roads, fields with high vegetation or moderate to high density forests. These tests were conducted under the supervision of defense and autonomy specialists from Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The robots in question were essentially small all-terrain vehicles, capable of carrying equipment or using weapons. Above all, they were all endowed with autonomous skills and capable of making decisions in the face of the difficulties encountered in the field. On the battlefield, they are designed to accompany troops into combat, supply them, or handle last mile frontline logistics needs.
Fully autonomous robots at the front
Armed, the robots could also be sent directly to the line of contact to save lives by neutralizing enemy positions. The development of such machines is a marathon and such exercises allow them to discover new complex situations in which they have to find solutions in order to continue their mission.
Demonstration of Milrem Robotics’ autonomous robot operating fully autonomously in the complex environment of the Estonian army training area. This robot is designed to ensure logistics on the front. © Milrem Robotics
during the two days exercises, robots had to face increasingly difficult trials. They had to navigate in total autonomy, plan routes, make decisions to avoid obstacles. During these maneuvers they also had to demonstrate their ability to cooperate with human team members. For some robots it was the first time they were presented and confronted with this type of environment.