Polaris Industries has announced that its MRZR X multi-mode offroad vehicle platform, developed in conjunction with Applied Research Associates (ARA), has been selected by the U.S. Army to be one of the robotic systems used by infantry brigade combat teams for the next year of trials as part of the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program.
“The optionally-manned MRZR X helps ease the transition from manned vehicles to unmanned because it maintains the functionality, drivability and multi-mission capability of a traditional MRZR,” said Patrick Zech, program manager, Polaris Government and Defense. “Providing the Army with the option for high speed operations or missions with a soldier driving behind a traditional steering wheel is an important part of our offering.”
As military forces worldwide look to lighten the warfighter’s load and smartly network vehicles in the multi-domain battlefield, the MRZR X provides an evolving, robotics capable, multi-mission platform. In addition, the MRZR X provides worldwide commonality with the MRZRs already in service in the U.S. and more than 30 allied nations.
“In addition to meeting or exceeding all of the current robotics requirements, we’ve designed a layered, modular, open architecture, integrating sensors and software that will make it easier for the Army to securely upgrade technology in the vehicles,” Matthew Fordham, group lead and associate division manager for Unmanned Systems and Security Products, ARA.
The MRZR X provides warfighters with a modular, multi-mission support platform that has multiple modes of operation that span a broad spectrum from traditional operator driving, to multiple levels of autonomy, including the capability for remote control, teleoperation, follow-me, leader-follower and full autonomy. This allows the MRZR X to enhance and evolve mobility in varying roles including service as a robotic equipment mule, autonomous resupply vehicle, warfighter-driven squad carrier, logistics support vehicle, rescue mission enabler and high-speed casualty evacuation capability. In the future, the connectivity of the MRZR X will provide the ability to act as a networked node in the multi-domain battlespace.
ARA has been producing Modular Robotic Applique Kits (M-RAKs) for more than 20 years, with a specialty in off-road robotics, further enhanced by the acquisition of Neya Systems. The advanced MRZR X fully integrates the autonomy systems and optimally places the sensors to safeguard the technology while keeping the physical and software architecture open so it can spiral in future technology. The vehicle drivetrain is powerful and reliable, allowing for longer missions, high speeds and silent drive when needed.