Sydney company Marathon Robotics has won a $57 million contract with the US Marine Corps to trial the use of advanced robot technology in live firing exercises.
The “Rover” system technology developed by Marathon Robotics uses free-ranging robots protected by armour plating to train marksmen. If successful, this trial could see the Rover system taken on board as a live fire-training platform by the US Defense Department and up to 30 new jobs created at Marathon Robotics.
The system’s use of advanced technology and on-board intelligence means that the robots can react quickly to unexpected situations, says Marathon Robotics CEO Dr Alex Brooks.
“The Rover uses a global positioning system (GPS) and a scanning laser rangefinder for navigation, positioning, and obstacle detection and avoidance,” Dr Brooks said.
“Sitting atop the robotic platform is a human-sized 3D mannequin made from durable plastic to withstand hundreds of shots. When a mannequin is hit it drops backwards before resetting itself automatically.”
“Importantly, the Rover system has strong potential not only for armed forces training worldwide but also for law enforcement and security agencies,” Dr Brooks added.
The NSW Government assisted the development of the Rover system through its Industry & Investment NSW and its Australian Technology Showcase (ATS), export and Innovation Pathways programs.
In this year’s State Budget, the NSW Government announced it would target high-value defence industries under a $75 million defence attraction package. The funding package will provide $25 million to secure new defence projects, generating 1,500 new jobs.