Army looks to get hi-tech drones, robotic mules to replace animal transport

Source: The post is based on the article “Army looks to get hi-tech drones, robotic mules to replace animal transport” published in Indian Express on 24th January 2023.

What is the News?

Indian Army has floated three requests for proposals(RFPs) for procurement of 48 jetpack suits, 130 tethered drone systems and 100 robotic mules as part of its modernisation drive.

What are Tethered drones?

A tethered drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle tethered to the ground. It consists of a base station on the ground and the drone, which is connected to the station through the tether (cable). 

The tethered drone can be operated remotely to perform specific tasks. It can be used for surveillance of targets beyond the line of sight for a prolonged period. 

They can also be launched in an untethered mode for a certain duration to confirm inputs.

Benefits of Tethered Drones: Tethered drones are perfect for data capture and telemetry due to the reliability of tethered connections.

Tethered drones dramatically reduce technical and human error crashes in flight.

A tethered drone has a reduced spatial area where it can fly. Because of the flying restrictions the tether creates and their greater control, their operation does not require a trained pilot. 

It also does not require GPS navigation, which is a significant contributor to reducing any technical errors that lead to drones crashing.

What are Robotic Mules?

Indian Army is planning to procure Robotic Mules that should be capable of autonomous movement across various terrain, apart from having self-recovery and obstruction avoidance features.

What are Jetpack suits?

A Jetpack is a device worn on the back which uses jets of gas or liquid to propel the wearer through the air.

The Indian Army said it wants to procure jetpack suits that can lift a person safely across deserts, mountains and high-altitude areas at a height of 3,000 m. 

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