New AI-Powered Platform Enables Collaboration Between Military UAVs & UGVs

Thales' OpenDRobotics builds upon ROS and STANAG 4586 standards to provide an automated mission system capability By Mike Ball / 19 Jun 2024
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Thales has confirmed the launch of OpenDRobotics, a new AI-powered solution that combines robotics technologies with unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAVs/UGVs) to provide the armed forces with an integrated, human-in-the-loop mission system capability.

The system uses artificial intelligence to transform collaborative combat by integrating multiple drones and robotic systems, increasing their ability to operate autonomously and reducing the cognitive burden on warfighters. OpenDRobotics was developed in close cooperation with the armed forces and leverages the expertise of an ecosystem of innovation partners to meet the challenges of high-intensity combat.

With OpenDRobotics, Thales is taking collaborative combat to the next level through the development of a revolutionary integrated system that ties together robotics technologies and different types of drones to provide an automated mission system capability. Recent conflicts have demonstrated the operational value of drones and robotic systems in terms of battlefield transparency and speed of action to enhance mission effectiveness while keeping human operators out of harm’s way. These systems can also saturate enemy defences without requiring larger numbers of human operators or increasing the cognitive burden on the forces already deployed.

Thales is a pivotal player in the field of collaborative combat, providing AI modules, connectivity solutions, mission systems that enable engaged units to operate as a network and a unique ability to integrate with conventional assets already in service with land forces. Building on the success of CohoMa II1, the OpenDRobotics initiative creates operational value by coordinating the capabilities of a wide range of drones and robotic systems, providing command-and-control and extended collaborative combat functions by capitalising on the Group’s long-standing experience with tactical mission systems, in particular for the Scorpion programme.

OpenDRobotics has a central role to play in a broad spectrum of armed forces missions, including reconnaissance, intelligence, CBRN2, Special Forces operations, and more. It builds on the open-source ROS (Robot Operating System) and STANAG 4586 standards, which are widely used by NATO and were developed as collaborative initiatives to promote easier integration of drones and robotic systems developed by partners and third parties.

Arnaud Lacaze, Vice President of the Defence Business Segment at Thales, commented: “We are proud to present OpenDRobotics, a comprehensive offering that will accelerate the process of integrating drones and robotic systems in land combat operations. Building on our experience on the Scorpion programme and the lessons learned from collaborative combat deployments, Thales is enabling the forces to conduct their missions more quickly and in greater safety by coordinating large numbers of autonomous systems on the battlefield.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact