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Battlefield robots prove value in military exercises
Dec 12, 2005, 1:16 GMT
Singapore - Battlefield robots developed in Singapore proved to be formidable tools during their first tests during an exercise in Australia, engineers said Monday.
Video images beamed by the robots to the armed forces helped commanders locate and destroy 'enemy forces' in the form of plywood targets or oil drums, said the engineers from the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).
Each Packbot robot is no bigger than the famous R2-D2 droid from the 'Star Wars' movies.
An evaluation of the robots' performance during Exercise Wallaby, held at the Shoalwater Bay training area, was published in The Straits Times.
The lightweight 30 kilogram Packbot moves silently at a brisk walking pace and can negotiate slopes. Its eyes are a camera that can enlarge images by 30 times. A night vision device can be controlled by an operator up to 600 metres away.
'We managed to test the Packbot in a real operational environment,' DSTA project manager Cheng Wee Kiang was quoted as saying. 'The soldiers were able to give us feedback and suggestions for improvements.'
Some 1,500 troops and more than 400 tanks, warplanes and helicopters took part in the recent war games.
The robot 'provides a smaller body to enter dangerous areas and survey them for us while we remain in a safe and comfortable position', said Sergeant Seow Hong Da.© dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur