As violence is continuing to boil over in the Kashmir valley, the Army has now proposed to deploy a team of indigenously-built robots which would help fight terrorists.
To this effect, the defence ministry has recently approved an army proposal mentioning a requirement of 544 robots.
According to Army officials, this could effectively pave way for indigenous development of such robots.
The need for induction of robotic systems into the forces has arisen out of an expanding terror footprint, from rural and jungle areas to urban areas.
"It may just be a matter of time when security forces as a whole, .......will be facing the threat in built-up and super built-up areas," notes the Army while making a case for induction of robotic platforms.
The Army has already been using Daksh, a remotely-piloted vehicle developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to handle 'improvised explosive devices'. Daksh has a three-hour battery life, can lift a load that weighs up to 20 kgs and has a 500-metre range.
The robots will include surveillance and transmission systems with a range of about 200 metres. As per the army's requirements, these platforms will also be equipped with ammunition-delivery systems.
Forces including the Rashtriya Rifles can benefit from surveillance inputs from these platforms, and plan manual deployment accordingly.
A possibility of accommodating two or more robot teams in a target area is also under consideration.
DRDO's Bangalore-based Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics has been working on robots that can work with the Army under different conditions. The current project is listed across the 'Make' category under the 2016 Defence Procurement Procedure, making only Indian vendors eligible for these projects.
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