A family of miniature robotic platforms developed by AMT and ECA in France is designed to operate in urban terrain. It is under evaluation under by the French DGA “Mini-Robot de Choc” (MiniROC) technology demonstration program for future robotic platforms for FELIN, BOA and Scorpion future combat programs. The MiniROC concept relies on the combination of several platforms carrying a range of modular payloads, to effectively cover the broad requirements of urban warfare, including observation, localization, surveillance, load carrying and sentry operations, performed both indoor and outdoor. The different platforms differ in weight, volume, speed and mobility. The family is based on a small scout robot, utilizing tracks and flippers, offering high mobility in indoor and outdoor environments. The portable scout weighs 26 kg without payload.
The MiniROC Scout can operate for 2.5 hours at a maximum speed of 7.2 km/h, surveying buildings through autonomous or remotely controlled operation. The scout can negotiate staircases and obstacles, thus surveying elevated floors or subterranean spaces. Although this platform clearly resembles the PacBot, defense Update could not yet confirm the use of the iRobot platform in this program.
Another indoor sensor is the four wheeled, lightweight mini-robot (2.1 kg weight) is designed for indoor operations. This robust autonomous sensor can be tossed into a room, to remotely sense and survey the target. Operating autonomously for up to 30 minutes, the mini-robot can travel at a speed of 1.8 km/h and carry an integral video and audio sensor.
A larger support robot is used for outdoor operations. This 160kg six wheeled platform can carry a payload of up to 100 kg for mission duration of 1 – 5 hours. The support robot can perform reconnaissance missions near and around buildings and obstacles and can employ weapons in support of manned operational maneuvers. Both platforms can be configured with a variety of payloads, including a thermal imager, multi-spectral EO sensor and illuminator, passive infrared detector, gun mount, or munition launcher.