THE Minister for Defence Science and Personnel the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, yesterday unveiled a new robot called SPIKER designed to counter improvised explosive devices (IED).
The robot has been developed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and was demonstrated at the Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane.
“Innovations like this robot are part of DSTO’s program to support our troops on operation in various theatres, particularly in the Middle East,” Snowdon said.
SPIKER, Special Purpose IED Killer Experimental Robot, is a remotely controlled tracked vehicle which deploys a number of different devices, including explosives, to render IEDs safe.
Also on display was another remotely controlled vehicle known as RASP (Remote Advanced Sensor Platform) which DSTO has developed to identify radioactive threats from a distance.
“These technologies are vital for carrying out dirty and dangerous work and helping to save the lives of our soldiers,” Snowdon explained.
He said industry was also making innovative contributions to support soldiers through the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) Program.
Two technologies developed under the program and displayed at the conference included flexible solar panels to generate power during operations in the field; and a smart power management system which provides a miniature energy source for multiple devices carried by soldiers, so they can operate more effectively over longer periods with less weight.
“These are only some examples of innovative technologies that can be achieved when DSTO and industry work together to enhance Defence capability in priority areas,” Snowdon said.
“This financial year the total budget for the CTD program is over $25 million, with some 33 CTD projects in progress.”