First to come. The Mobile Combat Robots project

The Mobile Combat Robots project is the first of five that Meridian representatives have chosen for further development from among those presented at the Defence and Security section of the Sikorsky Challenge 2021 Festival.

OJSC "Meridian" and Innovation Holding "Sikorsky Challenge" have started joint implementation of the project-winner of the competition "Sikorsky Challenge 2021".

Sikorsky Challenge Innovation Holding signed two agreements with “Meridian” on November 10 in the hall of the University Administrative Board. The first established agreements on the holding of marketing research by specialists of the holding company and the development of a business plan for the release and implementation of the project "Mobile Combat Works", ie the organization of its acceleration. The second is dedicated to the beginning of cooperation in the implementation of this project: this includes making models of robots and conducting their tests with the involvement of potential customers; and conducting the necessary scientific and technical research to suggest solutions based on their results that can be used in the production of robots; and development of working documentation for the manufacture; and organization of measures to bring the product to markets, etc.

Vyacheslav Protsenko, Chairman of the Board of OJSC Meridian, and Oleksiy Strutsynskyi, Director of the Innovation Holding Sikorski Challenge, put their signatures under the documents. In fact, the second agreement, that is, the agreement on cooperation in the implementation of the project "Mobile Combat Robots", was not even bilateral, but tripartite: the third participant was the head of the team of its developers, associate professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Lviv Polytechnic Roman Zinko.

As Vyacheslav Protsenko said during the discussion of the terms of the agreements, this project is the first of five that the company's representatives have chosen for further development from among those presented at the "Defence and Security" section of the "Sikorsky Challenge 2021" Festival.

Rector Michael Zgurovsky reminded the participants of the meeting about the strong traditions of Meridian's cooperation with Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the company's participation in many programs initiated by the university: "We do not start, but continue our cooperation. It is very old: we have worked successfully and efficiently on different tasks at different times. "

The idea of the new project is formulated in a short slogan, placed above its description, which was presented to the participants of the discussion by the Deputy Director of the Innovation Holding "Sikorsky Challenge" Serhiy Sergienko - "Metal, not people". This means that systems are being created that will be able to perform particularly life-threatening tasks in combat.

Thus, the proposed product is a "swarm of mobile robots in an aggressive environment", which through the creation of unmanned combat systems (actually, ground drones) and their use in combat will help increase the effectiveness of combat while reducing personnel losses. The task is extremely urgent, first of all for Ukraine, because in the east of our state, war has been going on for more than seven years and people are dying.

"The advantage of combat robots is that they are universal and allow you to hang on them a variety of devices, video surveillance systems to support aimed fire, and more - said Sergii Sergienko. - in total, there are now about 11 prototypes of such robots, which are currently relevant." First of all, the work will be carried out in the direction of creating a universal robot on which it will be possible to install various types of weapons - grenade launchers, machine guns, or one that can be used for demining. "The platforms are almost the same, the only difference is in the type of chassis - crawler or wheeled, and in some others," he continued. - One of the goals is to develop a system of artificial intelligence that would control the work not only through a remote control system. They must already be programmed, and in the event of, say, a complete shut down, continue to perform their combat missions. "

The agreements signed on November 10 are very specific. Inna Malyukova, the head of the Innovation Ecosystem "Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine", drew the participants' attention to this: "The signing of these agreements would not be such a significant event if they were not backed by such systematic joint work." This is, firstly, the constant support and direct participation of the leaders of Meridian OJSC in the work of the Sikorsky Challenge Festival throughout all the years of its existence. And, secondly, a really extremely systematic approach to the new project. After all, not only an agreement was signed on joint work on the implementation of the project, with a very substantive definition of its directions, but also an agreement on its acceleration, and in a very short time.