35 robot packages, along with the required equipment, with a pricetag of less than PLN 81 million, have been all acquired by the Polish Ministry of Defence on Tuesday, from the PIAP Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements. The new equipment is going to be received by the sappers. It is a small step concerning a grand cause – as it was stated by the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Jadwiga Emilewicz. She, together with the head of the MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak, took part in the event during which the contract was signed.
The agreement concerns 35 portable patrol robots kits. The contract value has been defined as PLN 80.74 million, and this price includes coverage of logistics, training, ammunition and expendables. The deliveries have been scheduled to happen between 2019 and 2021, while the contract has been signed by the head of the Armament Inspectorate of the MoD, Dariusz Pluta as well as by the head of the PIAP institute, professor Piotr Szynkarczyk.
The acquired robots are to be used by the engineering units, for the purpose of detecting, removing, picking-up or neutralizing mines, unexploded ordnance and IEDs, within the scope of combat and peacekeeping operations abroad.
The weight of the robots will be contained in a range between 50 and 75 kilograms. The platforms would be wirelessly controlled. They will be equipped with sensors providing hi-res imagery, regardless of lighting and weather conditions, also within a spectrum invisible to the human eye. The packages would also include mine detection and explosives detection systems, along with a CRBN sensors kit. The robots will be equipped with a recoilless disruptor with a range of 30 meters. This device has been designed to be used to neutralize explosives and hazardous materials.
Robots for the Polish military will be derived from the PIAP RMI® (Robot Mobilny Interwencyjny - Mobile Intervention Robot). One of systems as such has been presented during the ceremony of signing the agreement. This type of robots is powered by electric motors and uses tracks to move around. Robots as such may be used in urbanized areas and outside of environment as such. The manipulator arm may be detached and attached without using any special-purpose tools.
]– The most important thing, when using a robot, is the fact that we move the human away from the threat in this way – stressed the head of the PIAP Institute, professor Piotr Szynkarczyk. He added that the new robots will also be controllable with the use of consoles already delivered to the military, along with other products.
The ceremony during which the agreement was signed involved both the head of the MoD (Mariusz Błaszczak), as well as the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technologies, Jadwiga Emilewicz. Błaszczak did stress that the military procured a modern product, designed and made in Poland. He also noted that the robots would be received by engineering elements that are “on the battlefield also during the peacetime”, since they are still neutralizing the dangerous remains of the WW2. It is always worth to use equipment that guarantees safety for those who serve – the head of the MoD said.
Emilewicz, on the other hand, noted that the fact that the contract serves as an example of procuring an ambitious product by the military.
I would say that today’s contract, worth PLN 80 million, considering the budget of the Polish military, is minor, but it is a small step concerning a very grand cause, but here it is shown that Polish technologies and innovation may be applied in this domain. We hope that it finds it way to further markets soon.