The Indian Army could soon get a new ally to counter stone-pelting and terror attacks in the Kashmir Valley – Robots. A report in Greater Kashmir has stated that robotic weapons could be introduced by the Defence Ministry which will help security forces in counter-insurgency as well as counter-terror operations. This move might be taken in order to reduce the number of injuries the soldiers suffer when faced with armed militants or even stone-pelting protesters.
An army proposal, projecting a requirement of 544 robots, has been approved by the defence ministry, according to reports. The robotic soldiers would be deployed in difficult warfare zones like the Kashmir, LoC with the ability to differentiate between a threat and friend.
For the past eight months, CAIR, a DRDO lab leading India’s research in artificial intelligence, has been working on this project. This will equip India’s armed forces with a host of robots that can work as a team in collaboration, TOI had reported earlier this year.
These robots are being built keeping in mind the current military scenario which demands operations in different conditions—environmental and terrain. Besides, the robots will also be able to work in indoor conditions, enabling deployment at various key establishments.
With the aim of indigenising defence equipment, the Defence Ministry has approved projects worth crores for the Indian Army, which are to be developed and manufactured by the Indian private industry. These are projects which are meant to enhance India’s combat capabilities for war and counter-terrorist operations. The end result will be stronger fighting such as Automated Robot machines in the form of infantry combat vehicles, tanks and soldiers on ground.
The projects to be manufactured are aimed at the modernisation of the armoured vehicles, tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic surveillance equipment and “individual protection system” for the infantry soldiers. Robots occupying forward areas with weapons may still be a far-fetched thought, but India doesn’t want to be lagging behind in providing its armed forces up-to-date artificial intelligence (AI) and robots.
Having already made a host of robots with varying uses, the Centre for Artificial Intelligence (CAIR) is now in the process of developing Multi Agent Robotics Framework (MARF)—which could be used in scenarios like the Pathankot Attack—capable of providing myriad of military applications.
CAIR, a DRDO lab leading India’s research in artificial intelligence, has been working on this project for more than eight months now and when completed, it will equip India’s armed forces with a host of robots that can work as a team in collaboration, much like our soldiers do.
With futuristic warfare in mind, India is working to develop robotic soldiers as part of efforts to boost unmanned fighting capabilities, joining a select group of countries in this endeavour.
Under the project being undertaken by DRDO, robots would be developed with very high level of intelligence to enable them to differentiate between a threat and a friend.
“We are going to work for robotic soldiers. We are going to look for very high level of intelligence in it than what we are talking today… It is a new programme and a number of labs are already working in a big way on robotics,” DRDO chief Avinash Chander said in an interview.