The modern battlefield requires soldiers who are able to adapt quickly to any mission and as robots join them, they’ll have to do the same.
At the Singapore Airshow 2016 this week, Estonian defense company Milrem took the wraps off its robotic Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) – a compact battlewagon billed as the “first-of-its-kind modular hybrid Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)” that acts as a multi-mission vehicle platform to assist or replace soldiers on the battlefield.
According to Milrem, the key to THeMIS is its modular design. In other words, it’s a bit like one of those toy building kits where you swap out various bits and pieces to create different machines. In the case of THeMIS, the basic system consists of a pair of tracked pods separated by a central platform.
Each pod has independent electronics as well as power packs that are either electric or diesel driven. When they’re assembled they form a two-track remote controlled or autonomous robot measuring 2.5 x 2 x 0.6 m (8.2 x 6.5 x 2 ft) and weighing in at 700 kg (1,543 lb) with the capability of carrying the same in payload. Top speed is 50 km/h (31 mph) and the THeMIS can run for 8 hours on a full battery charge and fuel tank.