Unmanned Ground Vehicles: Remote Tank Destroyers

unmanned ground vehicles

Img credit: Milrem Robotics

While the implications of robotic military vehicles on human society are yet to be fully realised, the technology is here and probably have been for longer than we think. Most recently an Estonian defence firm, Milrem, launched the world’s first modular unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) doubling as a tank-destroyer. The modular, multi-purposed vehicle intends to provide support for dismounted troops in the shape of a transport platform, remote weapon station, IED detection and a UAV carrier among others.

The race to build the perfect military vehicle is an ongoing slog-fest and defence contractors around the globe have their hands full. More specifically, tank designers and anti-tank weapon designers are constantly pushing the envelope for better technology. Continue reading

Manufacturing 5.0: The Future Is Now

manufacturing 5-0

While Industry 4.0 is all about automation and digitisation, the future of manufacturing is in personalisation. Manufacturing 5-0, or the Fifth Industrial Revolution, will focus on the co-operation between humans and robots. Although the focus remains on automation and advanced manufacturing, the human element is more important than ever. We’ll take a closer look at what this means for manufacturing but first, let’s recap our journey up to now. Continue reading

Future Military Vehicles And The Technologies Behind It

military vehicles

Img Credit: DARPA

When you think of military vehicles, what comes to mind first? Traditionally, tanks and Humvees are always common but times have changed and will continue to do so. Advanced warfare and new technologies are major contributing factors influencing the types of military vehicles required in the future. Weight, speed, cost and armament all play pivotal roles.

Looking back at 2014, DARPA announced the launch of its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. In a nutshell, GXV-T aims at finding high-tech alternatives to normal armour plating. Success would result in tanks weighing much less, travel twice as fast while still protecting its occupants. The problem comes in with advancing technology as artillery designers keep making bigger anti-tank guns. This has generally been the case and in response, tank designers just add more armour.

One such example is America’s main battle tank, the M1A2 Abrams. It weighs an astonishing Continue reading

Is UK Manufacturing Output Back On Track?

UK Manufacturing

The latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey reports that UK Manufacturing output looks promising. They suggest that output has increased strongly and faster since the end of 2017. According to CBI, growth was broad-based, with output increasing in 14 out of 17 sub-sectors. Among the top performers are food, drink and tobacco and mechanical engineering.

Total order books show similar, healthy levels resembling that of December 2017. Exports remained stable, well above average and in line with the past 16 months. Output price expectations for inflation softened to the weakest in almost a year while stock levels moved below average. It hasn’t been smooth sailing as the UK Manufacturing sector faced some serious challenges.

While the CBI believes manufacturers will continue to benefit from robust external demand and the lower exchange rate, overall economic growth is expected to remain subdued. This comes as a result of weak consumer income growth and the continuous uncertainty stemming investments. Continue reading

3D Printing In The UK Among The Top Five

3D printingA new research study by A.T. Kearney and HP Inc has revealed some interesting data. The UK is placed fifth overall in adopting 3D printing and additive manufacturing behind the US, Germany, Korea and Japan. Within Europe, Britain came in second only behind Germany (placed second globally), and ahead of Sweden (eighth), France (ninth), and Italy at twelve.

According to HP Inc, Germany is the only European country with a more positive environment for the technology to transform manufacturing. Although we’ll see some positive data on 3D printing and additive manufacturing, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Continue reading