Genesis of the CoHoMa challenge
Ground robot of Angatec with aerial drone of Squadrone.
The human-machine collaboration challenge launched by the French Army last year allows companies working in the field of robotics, to collaborate and respond to concrete problems that the soldier will encounter on the battlefield in the coming years. Led by the Defense Innovation Agency, the CoHoMa challenge explores the possibilities allowed by robotics in the armed forces.
Participants will have the opportunity to actively contribute to the reflections led by the Vulcan task force, launched by the Army in 2021. This challenge aims to harness advances in robotics to create an operational break on the battlefield by 2040.
The CoHoMa challenge supports SCORPION combat improvements and foreshadows the robotics that will accompany the TITAN project. Through its ability to collaborate with humans, robotics is an essential link in the army’s vision of the battlefield of the 21st century.
It is in this context that the CoHoMa challenge continues this year for the second edition.
Road to a second win for Squadbot team
Both Angatec's bots with Arquus' Sherpa Light APC in background during testing at Satory.
After a successful first edition, the CoHoMa challenge provided a complete feedback on all the solutions proposed by the Squadbot team. For Arquus and its partners, it was a unique opportunity to confront the Army’s vision of the contribution of robots to ground-based operations and the solutions that industrialists can offer to the future challenges of military robotics.
For CoHoMa II, the actors of the Squabot team revisit their motivations and ambitions:
Etienne Donga, Arquus' cinematic designer explains that the CoHoMa challenge "corresponds to certain developments in the conflict". He continues: "Today, we realize that putting drones in the hands of soldiers does not necessarily work. We have to think about how to integrate these drones into the fighting of tomorrow, into vehicles, because today we realize that we will control robots that will be bigger and bigger from other vehicles. Arquus as vehicle manufacturers has an important role to play.''
Successfully integrating robots into the fight of tomorrow is our main challenge - Etienne Donga
For Jean Charles Mamana, Technical Director of Operations of Angatec, the CoHoMa challenge is "an opportunity to propose our technological bricks that have qualities which can be presented in this context".
SQUADBOT's targets for CoHoMa II
Etienne Donga- cinematic designer for Arquus
'As in the previous edition, Squadbot’s guideline is to go from bottom to top. That is to say, we think about how to lead the fight at first based on the experiences of each industrialist, then we wonder about how to bring robots into this fight," explains Etienne Donga.
By offering realistic work, the teams show the army that they can be key players in the robotics sector. Pragmatism is the key word of the challenge, it is imperative to show what is applicable to combat.
As an industrialist, the CoHoMa challenge is a good way to confront our equipment with a concrete case of use with all the constraints and requirements that this imposes
If for Etienne Donga, renewing with the victory would be a "great achievement", Jean-Charles Mamana specifies that putting the title back in play provides additional pressure.
Each actor expert in their areas of expertise
Drones of the company Squadrone
Camenta joins the favourites of this challenge in order to optimize information gathering and communication. Indeed, the addition of Carmenta is part of a search to reduce cognitive load while maximizing the transmission of information without cluttering the various networks, radio for example.
Carmenta’s arrival reinforces an already very competitive team. Angatec provides their semi-autonomous "tech800" platform with mobility and an all-round pass. For their part, Squadrone supplies their professional «Apach» drones. Finally, Carmenta provides cartography and a geospatial vision of the terrain allowing the best possible communication.
Finally, Arquus takes care of the system integration thanks to its "Battle Management System" intelligent network allowing to federate the data collected by the satellites articulated all around an armoured vehicle: the Sherpa Light APC.
Maturities and medium-term outlook
''Robotics is an area of innovation where Arquus is devoting considerable efforts. Participating in the CoHoMa challenge allows us to better understand this market and gain credibility with the army", confirms Etienne Donga
After several scoping meetings between the different teams since the beginning of the year, the challenge organized by the Battle Lab Terre will be held from May 10 to June 7, 2023. 15 teams will face real-life situations that will put their air and/or ground satellites to the test. The battle promises to be tough!
See you in June for the results of this second edition. In the meantime you can discover the Squadbot team’s tests in video : https://www.youtube.com/shorts/yAhwSy-lGVI