A RAN robotics team has developed a drone prototype that can be autonomously dispatched to record critical incidents and beam the footage back to the ship, writes Charbel Kadib.
HMAS Cerberus’ Robotics Club hope its ‘Marine Evolutions Response Vessel’ (MERV) could speed up responses to scenarios such as a man falling overboard, and interrogating trespassing vessels or towing targets for live firing.
The land-based prototype is made from plywood and fibre-glass and propelled by a 3D-printed water-cooled brushless motor, made at the Centre for Innovation at Fleet Base East.
“Being able to produce these components through these emerging technologies has allowed the robotics club to test designs in conjunction with safety considerations and refine the final product,” head of the robotics club, Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Allan Winning, said.
“This has allowed us to move forward in implementing this system to display at this year’s Autonomous Warrior event.”
Earlier this week, Australian Aviation reported a government-backed project will design and manufacture custom drones to fly medicines up to 250 kilometres in the Northern Territory.
Charles Darwin University will manage the trial, which will involve developing a test flight centre and recruiting pilots. It says it hopes the drones could eventually deliver cold-storage COVID vaccines to remote communities.
The pilot program hopes to achieve regular drone flights of up to 100 kilometres by the end of 2021 and flights of up to 250 kilometres by 1 July 2023.
It is being funded by the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre, a non-profit collaboration between government and industry.