The Science & Technology Research Institute For Defence (STRIDE) has unveiled the Kawbra, the first ever locally made unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), during the Defence Service Asia (DSA) and National Security Asia (NATSEC Asia) conference yesterday. Named after the world’s most famous venomous snake (albeit featuring a stylised spelling), the drone is designed as a tactical vehicle for infiltration and reconnaissance into risk zones.
It is revealed that the drone is produced through a research and development program by STRIDE and DreamEdge Sdn Bhd. The latter of which, some may remember as the company that has been appointed to develop Malaysia’s third national car back in 2019. The Malaysian ministry of defence (MINDEF) also pointed out that the model showcased during the DSA and NATSEC Asia conference is actually version 2.0 of the UGV.
DSA 2022: KE ARAH ERA BAHARU PERTAHANAN DAN KESELAMATAN
Kawbra atau UGV 2.0 merupakan sebuah kenderaan tanpa pemandu yang dihasilkan melalui Program R&D oleh STRIDE bersama Syarikat DreamEdge Sdn. Bhd. pic.twitter.com/agrmBAoB0A
— MINDEF Malaysia (@MINDEFMalaysia) March 28, 2022
The Kawbra is controlled remotely and is also fully electric, which enables it to move silently when deployed on missions. STRIDE manufacturing engineering head Aizul Fazli Suhaimi added that the UGV could also be mobilised into locations that are hazardous to humans, such as those polluted by toxic waste. “We can get the vehicle to enter these areas to gather data and know the actual situation in the area via real-time video without endangering any lives,” he said.
In terms of onboard hardware, Aizul revealed that the drone is equipped with geo-magnetic and GPS sensors, as well as an infrared collision sensor for identifying objects that are blocking its path. Also onboard are four cameras situated on its front, sides and back. However, it is undisclosed whether the Kawbra features any form of autonomous navigation.
As for performance, it is said that the UGV is capable of carrying a payload of up to 200kg, and has a range of 30 to 40 kilometres per full charge. Aizul added that STRIDE will continuously explore further upgrades which will enable the vehicle to traverse challenging surfaces such as steep hills and so on.