Unmanned Ground Vehicles are used to augment human activities across civil and military operations. They can be used to perform tasks using a remote operand for high-risk military operations. Unmanned Ground Vehicles can be used as a human replacement for operations including bomb disposal, tracking, surveillance, as well as front-line reconnaissance in military combat missions. The technology was developed to allow the transfer of heavy equipment during military operations. Unmanned Ground Vehicles have witnessed a significant evolution in the past decade giving rise to tactical vehicles with the ability to perform IED search and surveillance operations. For instance, the Titan UGV developed by Milrem Robotics and QinetiQ North America was designed to perform multi-mission tasks including transport, reconnaissance, and rescue. The technology can be reconfigured to add or modify the functionality of this system as needed for the operation at hand.
There are two key segments within the Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market depending on the modes of operation; they include Teleoperated and Autonomous vehicles. The applications for Unmanned Ground vehicles are majorly reliant on the system of components that function in tandem with the instruction at hand. They make use of a range of sensors and technologies like IoT as well as AI to monitor, control, and perform operations based on the surrounding environment.
The market dynamics for Unmanned ground vehicles suggest that the increased market penetration for Industry 4.0 suggests a boost in market demand for autonomous systems as opposed to manned or remotely controlled platforms. The increased implementation of Artificial Intelligence is expected to connect a myriad of ICT-based applications that stimulate response within an Unmanned Ground Vehicle. The integration of AI in unmanned ground vehicles facilitates operations with little to no human interaction. This in turn enhances the efficiency and security associated with operations. Autonomous ground vehicles have added survivability, and are the size as well as cost optimum. The merits of UGV are being recognized by nations including the US, UK Estonia, and Russia.
A range of Unmanned ground vehicles is also being developed by the robotic combat vehicle manufacturer, Textron. Some other prominently used unmanned ground vehicle models across the global markets include TheMIS UGV by Milrem and Russia’s Uran-9 UGV model. The introduction of this technology is poised to increase the survivability and seamless integration of ground forces as well as unmanned systems.
Some supporting technologies that are poised to boost the unmanned ground vehicles market include the growth in investment associated with the advanced materials industry. Unmanned vehicles are generally lightweight and are hence composed of aluminum. However, the introduction of advanced material sciences broadens the opportunities of this market to raw material segments like composites and ceramics. These materials have low density and high tensile strength which are expected to boost the robust and durable nature of UGVs. The manufacturing and production industry is also anticipated to face growth owing to the introduction of 3D printing technologies. The use of this manufacturing method is expected to enhance precision and reduce the number of components required to build the structural framework of military equipment.
The market trends for the Unmanned Ground Vehicles sector suggest that small UGVs are poised to redefine the current stance of the market. The use of small unmanned ground vehicles is expected to enhance safety for humans across the battlefield. These systems are robust and versatile. They can take on operations ranging from public safety, fire fighting, and delivery of supplies to target destinations. Small UGVs are poised to dominate the military applications segment owing to their miniature size which allows them to perform tasks located in remote places which can be inaccessible to humans.
The Dragon Runner 10 is an anecdote for small UGVs which was developed by QinetiQ North America. The model is easy for the operator and its activity can be monitored using a human operand. The Dragon Runner 10 has night and day vision cameras in addition to communication transceivers which is anticipated to improve connectivity across the battlefield. This UGV can deploy counter IED charges and can transfer information using sensors from remote operations. The Dragon Runner 10 is poised to be an ideal fit for the US Army’s extended tunnel mapping initiative.
The Unmanned Ground Vehicles market is poised to promote technology segments including hybrid UGV systems as well as future-ready unmanned vehicle platforms. Hybrid UGVs can perform tasks across more than one platform. For instance, the contractor Robotics Research has developed the Pegasus Mini. It is a size optimum version of the transformable hybrid Pegasus (UAV/UGV) that can perform across both land and air platforms. The RTD (Robotic Technology Demonstrator) is another key innovation devised by the company BAE Systems. This technology is poised to measure the tactical ability of unmanned ground vehicles. The lethality and efficiency of these systems during operations can be assessed using the RTD.