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DisTec 2024

 IT²EC 2024 - defence training and technology event

Integrating autonomous infantry robotic OPFOR

10 Apr 2024
DisTec Theatre
Autonomous infantry robotic targets which look, move, and behave like real people provide new opportunities to add robotic opposing force (OPFOR) or other role-players into any training event. Robotic OPFOR create “pre-combat veterans” through high stress inoculation from a realistic enemy. Marathon robots are the only autonomous ground robot role-player in regular military use worldwide. The robots are trackless, human-like in appearance/motion, navigate autonomously over unimproved terrain, and capable of replicating threats and reacting intelligently. They can take actions and make choices per inputs received directly or from other robots while in operation. OPFOR and role-playing application include replicating the complexity of a full pattern of life with robots performing daily routines. Units can surveil robots which are speaking in selected dialect and have different personalities and execute engagements based on key intel. Collectively the robots can represent a near-peer live-fire threat, as an enemy SQD, PLT or larger formation executing counter-attacks, ambushes or flanking. The robot's autonomy allows them to work together as a unit. Autonomy coupled with LiDAR scanner further allow for long-range, out-of-sight and night operations while ensuring obstacle avoidance and precision localization. The robots employ a patented reactive behavior system is based on dynamic scenarios, which describe what the robots are supposed to do during training. Reactions include tactical behaviors, reaction to hits, events trigger transitions, multi-target coordination and real-time operator input. An integrated training system allows a single operator to command and control “swarms” of autonomous infantry robots and vehicles simultaneously. Robots can be readily outfitted with non-kinetic equipment supporting Multi-domain Operations (MDO), act as decoys, or provide BLUFOR logistical support. Marathon robots have been in active use since 2008 with armed forces around the world, including the U.S. Marine Corps and Army. Over 11 million rounds have targeted the robots and they've been driven over 100,000 km.
Nathaniel Whelan, Vice President Europe - Marathon Targets GmbH