Australian soldiers control ghost robot dogs with their minds using new UTS technology


Incredible moment Australian soldiers control ‘ghost robots’ with their MINDS using new technology designed to keep hands free for weapons

  • New technology allows soldiers to command ghost robots through brainwaves 
  • It was developed by University of Technology Sydney and demonstrated in May
  • Technology detects brainwaves then translates visual cues to instruct the robot 

Australian Army soldiers have demonstrated command of ‘ghost robots’ with their minds thanks to new groundbreaking technology developed for combat. 

The new technology allows the user to focus on one of six white squares which flicker on an augmented reality lens at varying frequencies. 

Each of the six squares represent six predetermined locations where the robot can go. 

The biosensor located on the back of the head then detects brainwaves from visual cortex then translated and decoded to give the robot instructions. 

In a video released by Defense Australia, an army sergeant is seen demonstrating how the robot moves on command and work alongside army soldiers.

New technology developed by the University of Technology Sydney allows soldiers to command ghost robots through brainwaves

New technology developed by the University of Technology Sydney allows soldiers to command ghost robots through brainwaves

Each of the six points represent six predetermined locations where the robot can go

Each of the six points represent six predetermined locations where the robot can go

The user focuses on six white squares which flicker on the augmented reality lens at varying frequencies. The biosensor detects brainwaves and translates instructions for the robot

The user focuses on six white squares which flicker on the augmented reality lens at varying frequencies. The biosensor detects brainwaves and translates instructions for the robot

The technology was developed by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and comprises of HoloLens mixed reality smartglasses and a graphene biosensor to command a Ghost Robotics quadruped robot.

It was tested at the Majura Training Area, Canberra in May with the Army Robotics and Autonomous Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO). 

The technology allows soldiers to control the robots hands-free which is ideal for combat.

Lieutenant Colonel Kate Tollenaar from RICO said the technology allows for soldiers to be safer in the field as they can potentially use these robot dogs for future acquisitions.

‘So the technology that we demonstrated today is called a brain robotic interface, and it’s a way of a soldier operator being able to command an autonomous system and use their brain signals,’ she said.

‘So rather than voice or command console or any other form of command, we can an interface via headset to allow them to move an autonomous system and today we use the Ghost Robots because RICO has had experience with experimentation with this kind of autonomous system.

‘Army absolutely plays a part in the development of this technology beyond the funding and we have a range of use cases that we’re looking to work with a range of stakeholders to ascertain the best way to test this technology and to help de-risk future acquisitions, particularly in the autonomy space.’ 

The technology was demonstrated at the Majura Training Area, Canberra in May with the Army Robotics and Autonomous Implementation and Coordination Office

The technology was demonstrated at the Majura Training Area, Canberra in May with the Army Robotics and Autonomous Implementation and Coordination Office

The ghost robots allow soldiers to control them hands free which is ideal for combat situations

The ghost robots allow soldiers to control them hands free which is ideal for combat situations

Sergeant Damian Robinson of the 5th Combat Service Support Battalion said the control over the robots is more about visual concentration than mindfulness. 

‘The control I can exert over the robot is I can tell it to go to a number of in this case six predetermined locations,’ he said.

‘You don’t have to think anything specific to make the robot operate, but you do need to focus on that flicker so it’s more of a visual concentration rather than having to clear your mind and have mindfulness.’

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