Daksh robot

The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is currently working on development of robotic soldiers to boost the country’s unmanned fighting capabilities for future combat operations.

Adding India to a select list of countries pursuing similar endeavour, the robots are expected to be manufactured with a very high level of intelligence to enable identification between a threat and an ally.

DRDO chief Avinash Chander was quoted by Press Trust Of India as saying in an interview that the robots will feature very high level of intelligence than actually what is currently available.

"It is a new programme and a number of labs are already working in a big way on robotics."

"It is a new programme and a number of labs are already working in a big way on robotics," Chander said.

The platform is expected to need guidance from a human operator to identify an enemy or a combatant during the initial phase of the project, but will eventually assume the lead role with operators serving as assistants.

"Today, you have neural networks, whenever the soldier tells him (robotic soldier) that this is a human solider, he will derive his own logic as to what is the difference between him and others (civilians)," Chander added. "That learning process will keep building up."

When quizzed if the system would be capable of being deployed in areas such as the line of control (LoC), the organisation’s newly-appointed chief said that this was on the agenda, but would take place over the next decade or so.

According to Chander, several new technologies are still in development, including miniature communication, materials and cognitive capabilities, as well as self-learning processes and interaction with human operator. Chander added that five to six countries are already in fairly advanced stages of the robotic soldiers development.

Image: DRDO-developed Daksh remotely controlled robot for safe location, handling and destruction of hazardous objects. Photo: courtesy of Jjamwal.

Defence Technology