Perth technology company Chronix has been awarded a $160,000 contract by Defence to develop a robotic command and control system that would enable casualties to be evacuated from the battlefield on an autonomous vehicle.
The system, which is at the proof-of-concept stage, would also enable deployed soldiers to call for supplies or perform other logistical tasks using robots. The company develops software for robots that tailors them for use not only in defence, but across a range of sectors including mining, construction and oil and gas.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Chironix would help research what role robots could play in providing advanced casualty care and treatment to soldiers injured on the battlefield.
The agreement with Defence would also include looking at the use of driverless technology in vehicle convoys across a range of difficult military environments.
Minister Price said Chironix had demonstrated its advanced skills in robotics and software engineering through its engagements with Defence and the US Office of Naval Research.
“Technological evolution and innovation in land combat and protected vehicle capability is integral to giving Australia a warfighting edge,” she said. “A key contributor to this will be the development of a robust, resilient and internationally competitive Australian defence industry. Our investment helps create a highly skilled workforce and intellectual property that will enable the ongoing and agile evolution of land combat and protected vehicle technologies.”