CoHoMa, several years leap for the military and the French robotics sector – FOB

Complete success for the first edition of the CoHoMa Challenge (Cohabitation Man-Machine) at Battle Lab Ter’s Baines (Evilines) Camp. Over the course of a week, some forty companies and schools faced a scenario predicting what tomorrow’s “robotic conflict” might be, all contributing in their own way to significantly advancing the idea of ​​robotization of the world’s armies.

Robots vs. robots

In February 2040, Normandy decided to attack the historic adversary Azure. Neighboring forces, with the help of Mercury, align the latest generation of aggressive robotic systems. 1 in the headTime Department of Robotic Reconnaissance and Investigation (1)Time S2RI) and supported by a section of self-propelled artillery equipped with automatic XR20 proving shell, you will face 3221e Mixed Reconnaissance Section (SRM) and 3222e The Robotic Attack Division (SCRA) of the Normandy Armed Forces. In contrast, a small armada of proving mines, KMZ12 type drone hunter, robotic torret of 122 mm gun, Uran 9 robot and other Hangzhou robot dogs.

This entire fantasy scene has been chosen for the CoHoMa Challenge. Completely fictional? Today yes, but reality will begin to catch up with fiction within a decade, according to the military. So to speed things up, Battle Labs bet on Terry, launching the Vulcan project 11 months ago, “said David Cook, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau. With a meeting on the ground and a strategic scenario between different types of solutions envisioned by civilian partners in a standardized management environment Its commander, Colonel Sebastian, explained. While respecting the current dominance of high-intensity conflicts and achieving a fairly holistic view of ” What can we imagine behind this concept of robotic warfare?

The bet won, the first edition of CoHoMa will attract 38 small and large companies, laboratories and student groups across France. The purpose of the challenge is multiple for Battle Lab Terre and 10 competing teams. From the military’s point of view, it is a question of getting out of a certain straight jacket and making the solution industry available, in other words. ” Find out what is accessible, already acquired, achievable or relevant for the soldier », And to illustrate a functional need through action.

For the participants, this “Living My Life as a Soldier” was a fitting opportunity to confront their ideas with (harsh) reality and gather valuable lessons. “ And the best way is to communicate with the subject in a realistic way so that they use the technologies but manage their operational scenario with a collaborative effect. “Colonel Sebastian says. So CoHoMa.” A working session to move the matter forward collectively And not the beginning of any acquisition program.

Given the level of ambition and strict schedule, the 18 soldiers of the Battle Lab Ter were not enough to conduct the entire operation. Strengthening came from all the French innovative ecosystems. The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and the Defense Innovation Agency (AID), but also from the civilian world, are used for a few specific missions. A private operator of wired drones has been assigned to monitor the “battlefield”, to reproduce the strategic situation and to create a “diary” of events by the team, or to record the response of the experience live and without bias, the young Paris company Mind2Sha .

The investment, limited to € 500,000 and partly topped by AID, eventually turned out Very affordable considering the feedback “Specifically, it will make it possible to support each team at a tune of € 35,000, an amount of ridicule for a large project manager but essential for ensuring student and small business participation.

One of the “external” contributions used by Battle Lab Terra for CoHoMa, a mission monitoring tool

Many approaches as a team

Battle Lab Tere insists: The teams had full latitude to create solutions. The only real hurdle was implementing at least one aerial drone and two terrestrial robots, or “airborne satellites” and “terrestrial satellites”, starting from a major vehicle. From their rolling PCs, distant pilots have a maximum of three hours to recreate the terrain and neutralize in the face of enemies. It is up to them to manage their tempo, adapt their systems, make the right choices according to the terrain, the climate, the adversaries and the civilians.

They have to move about 1 km considering the traps scattered everywhere represented by the big red box, supported by their robotic armada. Each box has its own characteristics (weapons, range, etc.) and displays a number of QR codes that force satellites to “scan” for data collection. Easy? Not so sure. Some code is hidden behind a removable panel that a robot must press. Others appear at the top of the box or require a drone to land on a pressure plate The set makes it possible to test the maneuverability of the machine and, incidentally, the qualities of the remote pilot.

It means to be brave but it is up to each team to approach the challenge freely. The master go, for example, was the object of amazing choice. Most have modified the VAB provided by the military. Proponents of some “internal” solutions, such as teams carrying a Sherpa APC, have cleverly replaced a PC or an ASV-350 armored vehicle borrowed from a Spanish company, or even the Griffin provided by the military. Same for satellites. The “SYRAT” team will thus apply a drone whose blades, like wings, are moved by a small rotor installed at their ends. Renaissance is an innovation designed by the company Inanix and equipped with an hour of autonomy. SERA Ingenierie, of the “Force W” team, came up with her Robbox 3, a robot. ” Robot and drone carriers “Yet there is a limit to the logic, as demonstrated by the team that came up with a robotic Renault space as the only terrestrial satellite.

A “robot carrier” robot proposed by the SYRAT team and operated from a modified VAB

For many, the starting point of thinking was automation and the acquisition, processing and dissemination of information. It has also invested in Ecole des Mines de Nancy and TT Geometries Experts (TTGE), in the case of the “Allerion” team led by a start-up of the same name. Amboise project Special Operations Command (COS) ” What probably made us unique was that we thought of a lightweight solution that was deployed quickly, not considering the pilot’s merits but automation. 6, emphasizes Louis Viard, mining engineer, doctor in computer science and team coordinator.

The Alérion team prioritized environmental control, saying that one of the key benefits was knowing the mission area in advance. Using a drone equipped with a laser remote sensing (LIDAR) tool, they were able to build A huge orthophotograph of a very fast cycle of data production. We then pass the whole thing through a grinder to detect the red pixels, as many geo-reference points as there are trap boxes. Philip Barthelemy, TTGE’s head of R&D, explained. Everything is then centered in a common cloud where each operator will draw according to his needs and his mission. Initiating a recommendation, the interface also lays the groundwork for the automation sought by the military.

There are many failures, but the results are sometimes stunning. A team of students from Polytech Montpellier turned CoHoMa into a year-end project. Without consuming all their credit, they were able to offer a lightweight, agile and innovative solution based on commercially available technological bricks. Work proves that exploitation is possible even then. ” Not much time or resources, but talent The sum of Battle Lab Ter’s head.

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