Brisbane robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) company Cyborg Dynamics Engineering has secured a contract to develop a new semi-autonomous uncrewed ground vehicle (UGV) for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Awarded by the Australian Government, the contract is valued at $2.44m (A$3.3m) and is the company’s first award with Australia’s Defence Innovation Hub.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The Morrison Government invests in Australian businesses like Cyborg Dynamics because we understand that truly cutting-edge innovation could provide leading capabilities and better protection for the Australian Defence Force.”

The AI company will combine a suite of supporting Australian technologies into a modular and robotic platform.

If successful, the robotic platform could improve the load carriage, fire support and other protection capabilities for dismounted soldiers.

According to a statement released by the Australian Department of Defence, the platform will also explore on-board AI target recognition and advanced driving technologies.

The technologies will enable single person operation and enhance in-field soldier capabilities and lethality.

The goal of the platform is to reduce operator risk by providing a robotic-assisted force.

Price added: “The government’s investment in innovation through the Defence Innovation Hub is critical to ensuring defence maintains a capability advantage as Australia’s strategic environment continues to rapidly evolve.”

In April last year, the Australian Government granted funds of approximately $5m to 11 local small to medium-sized companies, which included Cyborg Dynamics, to support the growth of the country’s defence industry capability.

This April, Milrem Robotics delivered the first THeMIS UGV to its Australian homeland security specialist XTEK.