MoSAIC Challenge in Israel to Evaluate Complex Technology for Joint Combat Operation of Unmanned Ground and Air Systems


Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: A very complicated demo of a joint combat operation of unmanned ground and air systems is underway in Southern Israel. The complex technology evaluation is being performed jointly by Israel and the US.

Some of the Israeli developed drones and robotic unmanned ground systems and parallel systems from the US are being tested in the evaluation, part of the MoSAIC – Mobile Standoff Autonomous Indoor Capabilities Challenge initiated by the US Department of Defence, Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD).

The Directorate of Defence R&D (DDR&D) in the Israeli Ministry of Defence is organizing the Israeli competition that is testing the combined capabilities of civil drones and ground robotic systems in an urban combat scenario.

In a briefings on April 5, from the DDR&D, Col. Ryan, and the International Programs Manager at the IWTSD, Adam Tarsi said that the aim of the special technical evaluation is to select the technologies that are most suitable for indoors combat. Some of the systems developed in Israel and relevant to the competition are combat proven. Most are highly classified and will be cleared to take part in the demonstration.

The leading robotics and drone companies in Israel participating in this competition as part of the technological cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and the DoD IWTSD.

The international competition is promoted by the R&D (Research and Development) Division at the DDR&D, as part of the search for state-of-the-art technologies to operate robotic and autonomous technologies within buildings that simulate a future battlefield. The competition’s winners will receive funding for further product development, gain access to American and Israeli government officials, and will be accepted into the Merge Institute in California’s prestigious startup program.

Twenty (20) of the most innovative startup companies in the fields of robotics and mini indoor drones are taking part in the competition. Each group’s drones and robots are required to complete an obstacle course where they will face several obstacles such as doors, rubble, curtains, etc. The event is testing the abilities of companies from all over the world to complete navigation challenges, structure mapping, human and object tagging, human through-wall detection, maximizing autonomous movement in urban settings, and dealing with physical obstacles in urban areas including stair climbing and other needed capabilities.

The competition in Israel is part of the a joint effort by the US Department of Defence (DoD), Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) and the Israel Ministry of Defence (IMOD), Directorate of Defence Research and Engineering (DDR&D) to find and validate cutting edge hardware and software solutions to address some of the challenging and longstanding technological gaps concerning remote autonomous indoor manoeuvre.

According to the official website of the MoSAIC challenge, it is evident that there will be no single technological solution but rather a toolbox of scalable, layered, modular, and multi-functional capabilities to enable operators to remotely and autonomously perform the full range of indoor missions. Accordingly, the MoSAIC Challenge will be executed as five distinct “Mini Challenges,” with each focusing on a specific enabling capability for remote autonomous indoor manoeuvre.

The two officials that briefed the media said that Israel is leading in autonomous systems and the Israeli companies are proving they have some interesting technologies.