Remotely Operated Vehicle
The concept of developing and
employing robots capable of replacing humans to perform many dangerous
combat functions is a part of the robotics program of the future.
Characteristics of these robots would include the ability to work on ground,
in air, space, undersea environments, and in harsh conditions such as
extreme heat or cold. They will also be able to operate in NBC contaminated
environments, and will be more lethal, more mobile, and more survivable.
Unlike humans, they will not experience fatigue. Remotely operated vehicles
(ROVs) are part of such robotic platforms being developed to perform dull,
dirty, and dangerous activities, both in civilian and military environment.
Some examples of ROVs are submersibles used underwater in professional
diving, remotely-controlled bomb disabling vehicles, unmanned aerial
vehicles, combat robots, etc.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also in the
forefront of designing and developing automated mobile platforms for
multipurpose payloads for combat engineering for the Corps of Engineers of
the Indian Army. A state-of-the-art counter-terrorist ROV capable of being
controlled over a range of 500 m line of sight, both in cross-country and
urban environment, has been designed and developed by DRDO under the
automated mobile platform project. The vehicle is specifically designed to
handle hazardous material and suspected objects from public places and
installations. It is capable of climbing stairs and turn in restricted space
within a building so that it can reach different floors for its mission. The
vehicle has a robust six-axis manipulator arm with gripper for handling
suspected articles. It is electrically powered by special batteries and can
be utilised continuously for three hour before a recharge. The ROV has
multiple cameras onboard for aiding the operator to drive as well as pick
and handle sensitive objects.
The vehicle has a portable x-ray device and an explosive-based water jet
disrupter to diffuse an improvised explosive device (IED). It is also
equipped with a raDIATion monitor and a portable gas chromatograph to survey
NBC-contaminated locations. Besides, it is capable of mine detection with
the help of an induction-based mine detector placed in front of it.
The automated mobile platform project has facilitated the development of a
number of basic technologies. Since, some of these technologies were not
available, they have been developed for the specific purposes envisioned for
the ROV. The following technologies have been established during the
development of ROV: