City firms to roll out anti-bomb robot for Army soon

The first lot of DRDO's bomb detection and disposal robot, Daksh, for the use of the Indian Army will roll out soon. City-based Dynalog India Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited and Theta Control are in the process of manufacturing Daksh, a two-foot-high, remote-operated, battery-run vehicle that weighs 350 kg and is designed to detect and defuse Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

After the Army had placed orders for 20 robots in March, DRDO has been trying to sell the concept to security agencies like the National Security Guard and the police, as a tool to fight terror. "In the last two months the Mumbai Police and the CRPF have been showing interest," said Alok Mukherjee, DRDO scientist at the Research and Development Establishment (Enggrs) and a key member of the Daksh team.

Daksh can be used in urban areas and country terrain. It can be used against militants in J&K and the North East as well as against Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states, said Mukherjee. DRDO believes Daksh will be of use to paramilitary forces, the Airports Authority of India and Indian Railways to secure their areas.

"With this technology, we would be able to do what the US is doing with the drones in Afghanistan," said Ajit Kavishwar, Director, Dynalog.

"Daksh can handle IEDs, take it out of a crowded place and scan the device with its X-ray component to confirm if the device is an IED. If it is a bomb, the on-board water-jet disrupter can defuse it," Mukherjee said.

Daksh can lift a weight of 20 kg from a distance of around 3 metre. When operated on wireless mode, the robot can be controlled from a distance of 500 metre. "As compared to an imported model, an indigenously developed robot would be easy to maintain and can cater to Indian terrain," said a BEL representative. "All the three companies together would be able to supply two robots a month; the first will take four months to make," he added.

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