Autonomous Devices has won a Centre for Defence Enterprise contract to develop a technology that could dramatically reduce the time it takes for new field robot capabilities to reach Defence end users. The innovation, Improvised Robotic Devices (IRD), combines modularity and Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D printing) to slash development and upgrade times.
By lowering the barriers to adopting, sustaining and updating a diverse range of robotic equipment, IRD provides an opportunity for a manpower-stretched force to “buy back mass”, by employing field robots in large numbers as an effective multiplier for a lean human fighting force. Without an underlying platform such as IRD, the cost to develop and sustain a meaningful range of force-multiplying robotic systems across multiple domains would be prohibitive.
A further benefit of the system is that it empowers co-creation with front line users: users can suggest and even experiment with new robot configurations, leading to adaptations that can be implemented and deployed in extremely rapid time scales. This not only empowers the fighting force to adapt itself, but has positive implications for personnel engagement and retention.