RAN tests robots for counter-disaster operation

5 November 2020 (Last Updated November 5th, 2020 17:36)

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has deployed robots to test the performance in a simulated counter-disaster operation in Brisbane.

RAN tests robots for counter-disaster operation
Survey boat Polaris was launched from HMAS Adelaide for the first time during Exercise Sea Wader 2020. Credit: Able Seaman Sittichai Sakonpoonpol.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has deployed robots to test the performance in a simulated counter-disaster operation in Brisbane.

RAN’s event, Autonomous Warrior Genesis, exercises Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence (RAS-AI).

During the event, unmanned vehicles (UxVs) were deployed by land, air and water in order to respond to a fictional Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) scenario.

Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “As announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, the government recognises the exploration of autonomous and un‑crewed systems will further safeguard Australia’s capability and achieve expanded reach across the region.

“Using autonomous systems to respond to disaster scenarios is a potential game‑changer for defence by providing the agility and technological edge to rapidly support our region in times of crisis.

“Navy’s recently launched RAS-AI Strategy emphasises the importance of strengthening defence’s relationship with Australian Industry to ensure together, we develop innovative new capabilities to respond to an evolving geostrategic environment.”

In a separate development, RAN has launched a small survey craft from the HMAS Adelaide for the first time.

This move is expected to boost the geospatial survey capabilities of the navy.

Polaris was first launched from the vessel on 29 October during Exercise Sea Wader, off the coast of Townsville.

The technology is a part of a new equipment range, which was delivered to the Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit.

It also includes Fly Away Survey Kit and the Remus 100S Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and aims to modernise the geospatial data collection and processing.

In September, RAN ships carried out high-end simulated sea combat on opposing coasts as part of Exercise VIKING RAIDER.