Strategic Elements Ltd (ASX:SOR) subsidiary Stealth Technologies has licensed technology from Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), that enables robots to work together in teams.
The parties will initially focus on security applications and work under an Early Adopter Program (EAP) that will assist Stealth to integrate and commercialise the technology.
Wildcat SLAM technology
This Wildcat SLAM technology leverages more than 10 years of research and development at CSIRO’s Data61, the digital specialist arm of CSIRO.
It enables autonomous robots to simultaneously navigate and build high-definition maps, and gather other sensor data in locations they are being exposed to for the first time, with no pre-existing maps.
The robots can automatically share and combine information with other robots without human intervention to build a collective understanding of their global environment.
Strategic Elements managing director Charles Murphy said: “The Wildcat SLAM technology can potentially provide game-changing features to our autonomous robotics platform.
“This could be where, for example, large-scale facilities require multiple ground-based security vehicles, facilities where ground plus airborne-based autonomous security provides enhanced benefits, facilities that have poor coverage of satellite signal for GPS or in new applications for defence.
“Wildcat fits directly with the technology roadmap we are developing for our next generation Autonomous Security Solutions using teams of robots for enhanced patrol and surveillance capabilities.
SOR shares have been as much as 22% higher in early trade to 14 cents.
Wildcat is a key enabling technology in ‘robot perception’, which endows the robot with the ability to perceive, comprehend and reason about the surrounding environment.
When one robot encounters an obstacle or new context and learns, the entire team of robots can instantaneously learn.
Wildcat also works underground and in GPS-denied environments.
Early Adopter Program
Stealth will incorporate the Wildcat technology into its Autonomous Security Vehicle (ASV) research and development program and investigate the potential to provide team-based autonomous mapping and navigation commercial solutions for security applications.
Features will be progressively implemented into the Stealth AxV Autonomous Robotics Platform over the next several quarters.
Transition to full commercial licence
The terms of the EAP are:
- The EAP is for 12 months and the licence is non-exclusive and global. No consideration will be paid up front by Stealth Technologies;
- Stealth may sell products and solutions to distributors or end-users that contain the Wildcat technology during the term of the EAP;
- Commercial gains received by Stealth Technologies from utilisation of the Wildcat technology during the EAP will attract a fee to be paid to CSIRO;
- After 12 months, it is intended the EAP will cease and the parties may choose to transition this arrangement to a full commercial licence;
- Stealth will receive access to new Wildcat Technology features released by CSIRO during the EAP;
- CSIRO will provide basic integration support, training and ongoing support for data processing and de-bugging. Additional ongoing support will be negotiated between the parties; and
- Stealth will share data with CSIRO to assist further development of the Wildcat Technology.
Stealth Technologies is developing the ASV for perimeter security in sectors such as transport, energy, defence, government and utilities providing critical services.
The global perimeter security market is forecast to reach US$282.26 billion by 2025.
The parties are working with the WA Department of Justice to build a fully autonomous and robotic security vehicle for the Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison in Kalgoorlie to inspect, test and confirm the integrity of the secure perimeter.
CSIRO’s Data61 technology can provide Stealth with a key technological advantage in enabling its ASV’s to work in teams and provide enhanced security and surveillance solutions to its customers.
Stealth also recently formed a collaboration with leading US-based company Planck AeroSystems to enable drones to launch and land from its ground-based ASV.
AxV autonomous robotics platform
Although the first release is in the form of the ASV for security, the underlying AxV technology platform is scalable to a range of vehicle shapes and sizes and custom robotics are adaptable to perform a variety of physical actions and tasks.
Further releases from the platform could be deployed for industries such as mining, agriculture and logistics.