Robot soldiers!

Print edition : March 25, 2011

V.S. Mahalingam,Director, CAIR. - K. MURALI KUMAR

WE do fantastic technologies in artificial intelligence and they are on a par with the rest of the world, says V.S. Mahalingam, Director, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore. The centre's four thrust areas are communication and networking, command and control systems, communication secrecy, and information security and intelligent systems. Besides, it works on encryption, artificial intelligence, neural networks, computer vision, signal processing, robotics and virtual reality.

B.M. Shivashankar, Additional Director, CAIR, says the laboratory is developing technologies for the Futuristic Infantry Soldier as a System (FINSAS). It has developed software that equips soldiers with C4I (command, control, communication and computers, and intelligence), which provides them with a situational awareness picture. It is a platform-independent software, said Shivashankar. The CAIR has developed the Battlefield Information System that collects and provides the force commander with battlefield information and a computer that soldiers can tie to their waist, with the keypad on the wrist. Its engineers have also come up with a desktop computer that weighs 750 grams.

The CAIR's software specialists have developed a secure data adaptor to protect wireless conversations between naval personnel. We developed the device from scratch in just 11 months, said S. Raja, scientist.

The wall-climbing robot.-K. MURALI KUMAR

The CAIR has developed Artillery Command, Control and Communication Systems to automate the Army's field artillery and Command, Information, Decision-Support Systems, which allow the Army to store, retrieve and filter tactical data.

A robot sentry walks in the CAIR's premises monitoring people and providing feedback to its creator, Sartaj Singh. The CAIR has built robots to inspect the highly radioactive areas of nuclear power reactors. We are building autonomous robots that can use their own intelligence, K. Ramesh, Additional Director, said. One is a man-portable robot that can think on its own, negotiate curves, climb staircases and provide feedback. The second is one that can be transported in vehicles, can dodge obstacles and locate where IEDs are buried and pull them out. The third is the wall-climbing robot, which can be used in low-intensity conflicts and anti-terrorist operations. The snake robot can slither through the rubble of buildings brought down by earthquakes, locate survivors and alert rescuers.

T.S. Subramanian

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