We’re seeing an increasing number of robotic devices that are created to perform tasks which would put soldiers in danger, or take them away from other more important duties. The Rook UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) is one of the latest, and it features full-time six-wheel-drive.
Designed from scratch to serve as a military-standard electric UGV, the Rook is the result of a collaboration between Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems and US-based Unmanned Ground Vehicle manufacturer Roboteam.
Some of its possible uses include the delivery of supplies, evacuation of casualties, plus intelligence-gathering missions performed with help from a deployable multicopter drone … and yes, it can also be equipped with weapons. Its modular design allows its parts to be replaced on location, without the need for specially trained technicians.
The Rook navigates pre-programmed routes and avoids obstacles utilizing Elbit’s Torch-X RAS (Robotic and Autonomous) sensory/communications system. It’s also able to track and follow soldiers walking in front of it, form conveys with other Rooks, or be remotely controlled in real time – the latter is performed using a weatherproof ruggedized 7-inch portable display unit.
The vehicle itself weighs 1,200 kg (2,646 lb), can carry that same amount, offers 24 cm (9.4 in) of ground clearance, and has a top speed of 30 km/h (19 mph). One charge of its battery pack should reportedly be good for up to eight hours of use. It can additionally be equipped with an onboard generator, to power or charge other electric devices in the field.
You can see it in action, in the video below.
Source: Elbit Systems