Through the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) together with the Department for International Development (DFID) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are working together to deliver advanced designs for drones and robots which could dramatically change how humanitarian aid or supplies for front-line troops are delivered.
HORIBA MIRA will develop its own end-to-end logistics resupply capability, using its latest all-terrain, multirole UGV platform, VIKING. The 6×6, two tonne robot, is integrated with advanced AI-based autonomous systems, including GPS denied navigation, advanced terrain perception and object recognition. It can deliver up to 600kg of supplies over 200km. The UGV system also uses a novel low-bandwidth communication system for command and control.
Using a hand-held terminal, users in the field can make logistics resupply demands which are passed to the UGV. VIKING, using its advanced autonomy, adapts its own route on roads, tracks and across complex terrain to deliver the supplies.
Of the 142 Phase One proposals originally submitted in the summer of 2017, HORIBA MIRA is now one of only five successful bids to enter Phase Two. The VIKING prototype ALMRS system will be tested and demonstrated alongside the British Army Warfighting Experiment, Autonomous Warrior Land, which takes place on Salisbury Plain in the autumn of 2018. All tests and evaluations on VIKING will take place in relevant front-line scenarios.