North Tech Symposium 2023: Army Showcases Multi-Utility Legged Equipment – MULE, AI-based Autonomous Anti Drone System

Indian Army

Jammu / New Delhi: The three day North-Tech Symposium 2023, jointly organised by the Indian Army’s Northern Command, the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and IIT-Jammu which comprised exhibitions, product launches, one-on-one structured interactions, technical seminars, ideas and innovation displays as well as military equipment displays will conclude today, September 13.

Speaking at the seminar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Though research and development (R&D) is a risky venture as it requires out-of-the-box thinking and sometimes does not give desired results, it still remains one of the basic elements for the development of any country. Hence, capital investment in R&D becomes a necessity.”

At the event, a few equipment like Multi-utility legged equipment (MULE) and Multi Weapon Engagement System (Anti Drone System) emerged as a showstopper.

The four-legged multi-utility equipment (MULE) has a sleek design along with camera and radars. Having a payload capacity of 12 kg, the equipment can be used on Wi-Fi or Long-Term Evolution (LTE). For short ranges, Wi-Fi can be used, whereas LTE can be used for distances up to 10 km from a remote location. The MULE controlled by an easy-to-operate remoter control. It is an analog-faced machine. Several payloads can be attached to the MULE like thermal cameras and radars. Not just that, a firing platform can also be integrated into it. Pre-fed missions can be uploaded on the system to convey what mission is to be completed, be it through waypoints or recorded missions. It is also viable to be used in all terrains — including snow and mountains. It can climb mountains hassle-free at up to 45 degrees and climb steps as high as 18 cm.

According to a media agency report which quoted R&D Engineer at ARC Ventures Aryan Singh as saying, “MULE can be used in the case of first contact. For example, we know our enemy is in a room but we don’t know the exact location they are at inside the room, so we can use the 360 degrees cameras on the MULE and enter the room. The operator will find out where the enemy exactly is inside the room and the firing platform can be used to shoot down the enemy.”

Developed by the Military College Of Electronics And Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) – AI-based Autonomous Multi Weapon Engagement System (Anti Drone System) was another equipment showcased at the symposium. Its main objective is to shoot down drones and “kill” them. The system is divided in three parts — the first is a weapon platform where several types of weapons including light machine guns, rifle and carbine can be installed; the second is an AI-based laptop; and the third is a controller box. It consists of two modes — the autonomous mode and manual mode. In autonomous mode, it would detect and track the drone itself, and allow the operator to kill the target. In manual mode, it can be used for a surveillance. The system can shoot down any target, aerial or terrestrial.