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Robotic soldiers working in groups to be reality by 2023: DRDO chief

Discussion in 'Indian Military Doctrine' started by Abhyuday Pratap Singh, Jul 9, 2013.

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  1. Abhyuday Pratap Singh

    Abhyuday Pratap Singh 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Robotic soldiers working in groups to be reality by 2023: DRDO chief​


    Robotic soldiers that work in groups could be a reality in a decade from now, according to Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor, Secretary, Defence and Director General R&D of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    Chander was speaking at the first international conference in Advances in Robotics-2013 (AIR 2013) that began at the Research and Development Establishment (R&DE) Engineers here on Thursday. Emphasising on the increasing importance of robotics in unmanned warfare scenario, Chander threw light on India's advancements in robotics for military purposes.

    He said the prime challenges of the future will be to integrate robots to work together in a formation, for which he said we need an integrated plan. "Here, the role of the industry is very important to turn prototypes into products," he said. Emphasising that India needs to master the development of sub-systems of robotics such as controls, sensors, flexible materials, jam-proof communication systems, he called for increasing their pace of development in the country.

    Chander also emphasised the importance of robotics in Low Intensity Conflict as well as civilian non-combatant operations. Talking about UAVs, Chander said that trials of Rustom- I are complete and that of Rustom II will begin soon.

    AIR 2013 has been jointly organised by R&DE and Robotics Society of India. The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt. of India. While delivering his address he brought out the importance of robotics and automation nationally in various applications varying from atomic energy, space, defence and industrial automation. He stated the use of robotics in handling hazardous materials like explosives, infectious biological threats, and radiological materials.

    He talked about the third industrial revolution that is driven by internet, digital manufacturing, robotics and the desire to develop green technologies. He suggested that DRDO should encourage as well as guide academia and industries towards directed basic research. He also suggested that robotic society should build a Robotic Grid using the virtual lab supported by high speed internet based LAN Knowledge Networks to accelerate the interactions of scientific community, academia and industries.

    S Sundresh, Chief Controller R&D from DRDO Headquarters provided an insight to the combat engineering applications specifically for handling hazardous objects, mine detection, surveillance and reconnaissance. Manjit Singh, Distinguished Scientist from BARC and President of the Robotics Society of India briefed the delegates on the need and importance of the society.

    Three very distinguished scientists from the US, Italy and Japan shall be delivering keynote addresses in the conference. The conference is being attended by more than 250 delegates from all over the world. Over 30 industries and R&D establishments will showcase their products and research outcomes in the area of Robotics. A special session showcasing the ongoing research projects at various R&D laboratories (DRDO, ISRO, BARC, CSIR) in the country is being held concurrently.

    Source:- Robotic soldiers working in groups to be reality by 2023: DRDO chief - Indian Express

    #hope the deadline is met with no further extensions :rolleyes:
     
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  2. neil_diablos

    neil_diablos Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^ As if DRDO has ever maintained ANY deadline.
     
  3. Devil

    Devil Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    lol so true DRDO and HAL really can't make such claims if they achieve it by 2030 it will be big deal and enough but i don't think even that is possible

    BTW how many project DRDO has going on do we have wiki of some sort on HAL and DRDO list of Project because i tried looking around good could not really find it
     
  4. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    THey are jus making slew of announcements lately, Good PR campaign.
     
  5. Abhyuday Pratap Singh

    Abhyuday Pratap Singh 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Think positive, Be positive :rolleyes:
     
  6. neil_diablos

    neil_diablos Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Oh I would love to be but its better to be realistic rather than dwell in any fantasy on grounds of such cliches.
     
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  7. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Optimism is ok. But we will be dumb to shun the reality.
     
  8. Abhyuday Pratap Singh

    Abhyuday Pratap Singh 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    ^^^Its easy to criticise, hard to create^^^

    there is no end to this discussion, your work is to criticise and mine is to defend. Good luck...
     
  9. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    It is not hard to create, It is very easy put your mind and soul into it. You can get it done.

    And you are defending well, for lost cause if i may add though.
     
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  10. neil_diablos

    neil_diablos Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Good for you! My job is to point out the reality but as they say, Truth hurts! Good luck with defending a lost cause!
     
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  11. Abhyuday Pratap Singh

    Abhyuday Pratap Singh 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Dear layman ji and dear Niel ji, as if DRDO is responsible for the fate of the manufacturing sector in India, To understand this issue, you will have to go back to history a bit, the time when DRDO was set up in 1958 with practically no idea of what defence research will be. There was no defence technology at that time, DRDO was created from a set of institutions which were set up by the British for doing quality assurance and to some extent reverse engineering of products which were manufactured in British ordnance factories and brought to Indian ordnance factories for mass scale production. That was the scenario in which defence research started. Our leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru realised that overdependence on equipment which was of British origin or was left behind as part of Commonwealth legacy was not adequate. They realised that there should be a push to defence research.

    It was under the leadership of D. S. Kothari, the first Scientific Advisor, that a complete framework of defence research was set up. The vision of our own planners was very limited. They said that India needs only small things and not big things. So six or seven areas were identified which included missiles, material, electronic systems and so on. Many of these were derivatives of technological institutions of Britishers. Obviously, they did not have any background of defence research. Starting from that era, DRDO started building technologies.

    Fortunately there was this public sector set up of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which had a collaboration with Thalys of France. It helped in converting the research of DRDO into production of mostly communication equipment for our armed forces.

    Initially, it built some radars. Our armed forces were being equipped by acquisition of equipment which was either British or Russian because in late 50s and early 60s we had good equation with Russians. Indian equipment was in sporadic supply, in fact, it was hardly anything because we did not have any industry. Tatas and Birlas were into very mundane commercial production, Tatas had set up their steel plant. Inputs needed for manufacturing any goods were barely available in the country.

    In 1963, DRDO started the first indigenous anti tank missile programme which started here and was later shifted later to Hyderabad. In 1963-64, we started indigenous anti-tank missile programme. DRDO even had to assemble a nine volt dry cell to power the missile in the lab. The famous Exide which was making automobile batteries was not in a position to do anything. There was no industry both in the country private and public sectors that could have helped DRDO in doing anything.

    So, industry non-existent, technology base not there, academic institutions of excellence not present but individual excellence was available in giants like Prof. Kothari and Dr. Sarabhai. But large scale academic excellence which is needed for doing this kind of work was not there.

    Hope you guys will understand :rolleyes:
     
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  12. kaku

    kaku BANNED BANNED

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    It was same applicable on china man.
     
  13. Abhyuday Pratap Singh

    Abhyuday Pratap Singh 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Not at all, China has booming manufacturing industry and please dont blame DRDO for the the fate of the manufacturing sector in India. DRDO even had to assemble a nine volt dry cell to power the missile in the lab. The famous Exide which was making automobile batteries was not in a position to do anything. and moreover The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 proved to be a boon to China and their armed forces. Apart from a formidable enemy being neutralised, many displaced scientists, engineers and technicians from the erstwhile Soviet Union found employment in the Chinese military industrial complex. The Russian aircraft industry struggling to survive, was more than willing to sell modern aeroplanes and technology to China. And the booming Chinese economy could afford to import the best that was on offer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  14. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Well I will check the details bit later, jus read through the post.

    Fine enough if they are lacking knowledge it is fine. But why give a timeline for any projects and not meet them. We know they are technologically challenged, but if they cant quantize the timeline what good work are they doing.

    And One more point is why announce slew of projects this one, that one when you are yet to meet the deadline of previous projects. And atleast can they meet the future deadline of ongoing projects.

    Efficiency is the issue here.

    Lemme tell you ISRO is faring lot better than these guys, They even manufactured assembled Rocket parts in lathe and bench press in their sheds (suppose to be their laboratory). They had serious technological challenge than these guys with known variables.

    Dedication is very very important if you want to succeed.
     
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  15. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    And If i may add to earlier post.

    DRDO was established in 1958 to indigenize defense weapon production. Yet after more than 34 years, it has embarrassingly little to show for itself. The CAG reports that 70% of the products that DRDO produces are rejected by the armed forces. Others are delayed for decades. Some of the more notable delays are

    # Arjun-Main Battle Tank- 40 year development. End product is 50% overweight and the heart of the system, the fire control system has been developed by Elbit systems in Israel

    # LCA-Tejas- 30 year development. Still in flight tests. Only the control system and airframe are indigenous. All other components including the ejection seat are imported.

    # Nag-Anti tank missile- 30 year delay. Failed user trials as lately

    # Trishul-Anti aircraft missile, abandoned in 2008 after 20 years

    # Kaveri engine- 16 year delay with cost escalation of 800%. Still not airworthy . Delays in the engine have compounded delays of the LCA program.

    # Even the most basic items such as artillery guns and howitzers have not been produced by DRDO.

    # We import even the ammunition for our tanks at exorbitant prices as was pointed out by Retd Gen V.K. Singh

    # BEML has been unable to indigenously manufacture a truck and continues to import them from TATRA after 3 decades. Indigenization is confined to replacing tires, bolts & nuts.

    # It now appears that India will start importing assault rifles to replace the standard issue INSAS rifle. It is important to remember that assault rifles such as the AK-47 are even assembled in bazaars and road-side shops in Afghanistan. We will probably end up importing even bullets and cartridges next.

    # The so called shining examples of DRDO success namely the Agni and Prithvi range of missiles have of late failed a series of user trials. Their low reliability (50% probability of successful strike coupled with hours of pre-launch preparations) causes the very credibility of our nuclear deterrent to be questioned. A recent India today articles highlights these same issues.

    # Its premier UAV the Nishant is not aerodynamic, takes hours to deploy and the army has been compelled to accept a dozen.

    Despite its unclassified salary budget of over 10,000 Crores there is very little for DRDO to be proud about, other than instant food packets and portable toilets.

    700 Scientist have resigned in past 6 years. that is close to 10% loss of brilliant minds and their contribution. Why the reason say greener pastures. If DRDO cant hold on to these scientists what more do we expect.

    And Cause of Failure's

    01. Aiming ridiculously high and failing : A typical missile requirement would state that the user wants a missile that is shorter, lighter, lesser cross-section and has a higher payload than any other missile in its class. This is the equivalent of wanting a bride who is tall and short, fair and dark, fat and thin. Instead of having the courage of conviction to say that the requirements cannot be achieved, DRDO agrees to such requirements and fails miserably.

    The latest fancy is to develop reusable missiles, which will return after dropping their payload. No one points out that such technology already exists and is called an aircraft

    02. Imprecise project definitions : Some DRDO project documents call for development of indigenous technology in a particular field. After attempting and failing to develop this technology, DRDO surreptitiously orders the components from private companies who in turn may or may not be importing them.

    They cleverly exploit the difference between indigenous and in-house.

    03. Lack of accountability and peer review : DRDO’s progress in various fronts is judged by Professors from the IIT’s, IISc etc. However these very people receive funds from DRDO for their research. This creates a climate of patronage where no one speaks out. Every milestone is declared a success, but the project fails to deliver.

    The head of DRDO serves as the chief scientific advisor to the Government, and has a clear conflict of interest.

    04. Overstaffed : DRDO’s colossal employee size overshadows the size of R&D teams in Saab, Boeing, Lockheed, Sukhoi and MIG combined. Even if a few good scientists are present, they get inundated in an ocean of mediocrity. It is worth mentioning that HAL designed her first jet fighter in the 1960’s in just 3 years with the German Engineer Kurt Tank and a team of a dozen Indians. The old adage that a thousand monkeys on a typewriter cannot churn out Shakespeare comes to mind.

    05. Lack of Skilled scientists : Most DRDO scientists are recruited through an exam called SET (scientist entrance test). There isn’t even a test for Aerospace. So the Aerospace engineer aspiring to join DRDO would be forced to take a mechanical engineering test where he would be tested on roof trusses and welding joints. Important subjects like fluid mechanics or control theory are not even tested.

    06. Inability to attract and retain talent : DRDO pay scales are so low and bureaucratic procedures are such a hassle that even the few Indian scientists who return out of patriotism for their country after having worked in defense R&D labs overseas quit in disgust. Many DRDO labs do not even have internet access for ‘security reasons’. Having intellectually walled themselves in, they have no knowledge of the advances taking part around the world. Considering the state of affairs we would be doing the greatest disservice to our enemies if we were to give them access to the crude ‘technology’ developed by DRDO.

    07. No practical experience : When DRDO is asked to design a weapon, the ‘scientists’ assigned to the task have never even seen the weapon up close or in action. There is no program by which they can embed themselves with the army unit, see the weapon in action, understand it and suggest improvements or modifications. As a result the first few designs are amateurish and laughable at best

    08. Penny wise and pound foolish : Importing a weapon to take it apart, study it and reverse engineer it like the Chinese would be declared an unjustifiable expense. Despite its massive 10000Cr budget scientists from different labs wouldn’t be trusted to use their own vehicles to attend a meeting. Instead they must book an ‘approved’ taxi days in advance. The taxi would invariably be late and meetings start hours late. Clearly the bureaucracy doesn’t value the time of its scientists.

    09. Lack of peer review : Most of the mathematical basis for the ‘research’ conducted is dubious. Worldwide peer reviewed journals are the best way to discuss and criticize research. DRDO has a bunch of in-house journals where the same set of ‘scientists’ publish, review and pat each other on the back.

    10. No transmission or dissemination of knowledge : One DRDO lab has no clue as to what the other is trying to do, so they end up trying to solve the same problem over and over again. There have been a few success stories such as the design of the control law for the LCA. But the program has taken so long, that the scientists involved would retire and new scientists recruited for another program would have to relearn everything from scratch. Therefore the next aircraft program would take just as long as the LCA.

    Results of those Failure's

    The government has a vested interest in letting this state of rot continue. DRDO is given a chance to develop various weapon systems, knowing fully well that it will fail after trying for decades.

    This is then used to justify imports and the usual coterie of arms dealers make a killing selling obsolete arms to the armed forces at exorbitant prices. The ultimate price is paid by our brave troops who do not have the best weapons at their disposal.
     
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