Milrem combat robot brings modular versatility to the battlefield

Milrem combat robot brings modular versatility to the battlefield
The THeMIS ADDER at the Singapore Airshow 2016 sees a robotic machine gun affixed to the robotic platform
The THeMIS ADDER at the Singapore Airshow 2016 sees a robotic machine gun affixed to the robotic platform
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The THeMIS ADDER at the Singapore Airshow 2016 sees a robotic machine gun affixed to the robotic platform
The THeMIS ADDER at the Singapore Airshow 2016 sees a robotic machine gun affixed to the robotic platform

The modern battlefield requires soldiers who are able to adapt quickly to any mission and as robots join them, they'll have to do the same. At the Singapore Airshow 2016 this week, Estonian defense company Milrem took the wraps off its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) – a compact battlewagon billed as the "first-of-its-kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)" that acts as a multi-mission vehicle platform to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield.

According to Milrem, the key to THeMIS is its modular design. In other words, it's a bit like one of those toy building kits where you swap out various bits and pieces to create different machines. In the case of THeMIS, the basic system consists of a pair of tracked pods separated by a central platform.

Each pod has independent electronics as well as power packs that are either electric or diesel driven. When they're assembled they form a two-track remote controlled or autonomous robot measuring 2.5 x 2 x 0.6 m (8.2 x 6.5 x 2 ft) and weighing in at 700 kg (1,543 lb) with the capability of carrying the same in payload. Top speed is 50 km/h (31 mph) and the THeMIS can run for 8 hours on a full battery charge and fuel tank.

Milrem says that this modular approach reduces costs, allows new versions of the UGV to be developed quickly and simplifies maintenance. In addition. the platform allows the vehicle to carry a number of modules for different missions, such as communications relay, medevac, training, mine clearance, supply transport, weapons platform for infantry and anti-tank operations, lifting, UAV base, or firefighting.

One example of these modular robots is a THeMIS that's on display at the Singapore Airshow. Called the THeMIS ADDER, it was developed jointly with Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) and includes an ST Kinetics RWS ADDER remote weapon station, which features a robotic machine gun.

"Unmanned systems will play a significant role in the development of military capabilities in future," says Kuldar Vaarsi, CEO of Milrem. "Within the next ten years, we will see smart ground systems complementing the human troops during joint missions. We are excited to be in cooperation with ST Kinetics for THeMIS ADDER, and we're sure that this universal UGV concept will effectively supplement defense capabilities on a battalion level."

Milrem says that it has completed initial running tests of the THeMIS prototype and THeMIS will go into production in 2017.

The video below shows the THeMIS demonstrating its moves.

Source: Milrem

Milrem UGV product video

1000x less complexity than Boston Dynamics AlphaDog/BigDog and far exceeds the carrying capacity, distance. Reduces power requirement, noise, and cost.
If the US would have put the time and effort into developing something like this instead of chasing concepts like AlphaDog that are best left to science fiction they might have something useful to show for it.
Michael Wilson
The US does already. Its called the packbot series. They've seen active combat and have been in use for years for various tasks. Mostly bomb disposal though.
Randolph Garrison
If they want to replace soldiers they need a humanoid robot that can utilize the equipment developed for the soldiers use.
The first thing that comes to mind is just how bullet proof is it? What is the range? Will a small antipersonnel mine take it out? Watching it run through snow in the video is a lot different than sand and rocky terrain. It won't be much help if it can be defeated easily. I could see it being the most useful for patrol at night or as a portable alarm that could be posted and move around a perimeter.
Island Architect
Veddy Clever and nice too. Great design!
Would be awfully nice for many functions and it could be easily imagined as larger and much faster.
A fleet of these could wreck havoc or help and assist in many ways.
With the GE gatling guns or the lighter versions it would be absolutely devastating.
No more fun in war for those who love it!
Paul Anthony
This makes me feel ill.
Stephen N Russell
Apps for:
Prison Security Security Jail security Plant security Recon wilderness fire fighting. MedEvac Rescue Debris removal Office security IE DoD, DoT, State Dept, UN?
1 step closer in turning fiction ("The Terminator", the backstory of "Dune") into reality. Yaay!
It's just a mobility platform for a payload. I agree that we wouldn't give machines the right to shoot anything autonomously but I don't see a "Decides who the bad guys are" module anywhere.
The fact that humanity is so willing to engage in conflicts tells us that our ancestors that survived to give life to us were not the pacifists. Becoming pacifists now would be ignoring that the ancestors of our enemies weren't pacifists either.
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