Unmanned Ground Vehicles in Urban Military Operations : A case study exploring what the potential end users want

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Interaktiva och kognitiva system

Abstract: Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) can be used in the military to mitigate risks taken by soldiers as well as to provide solutions to physically demanding, dull or dangerous tasks. While there are benefits of using UGVs, there are also needs and limitations that come with them. This thesis explores what the end user, a light infantry battalion in the Swedish Armed Forces, wants in terms of functions for a UGV designed for military oper- ations in urban terrain. This was done through a explorative case study with focus groups, where soldiers and officers from the 31st Ranger Battalion got to use two different UGV prototypes to complete tasks. This was followed by semi structured group discussions, where needs, limitations and requirements were explored. The collected data was then analysed by a thematic analysis approach. The results from the thematic analysis found several reoccurring opinions regarding requirements from the focus groups. The requirements were grouped into four categories; (1) Speed, (2) Use cases, (3) Image generating sensors, and (4) Autonomous functions. In conclusion, this thesis identified a total of 13 requirements within the four categories. To summarise, these requirements imply that a UGV meant for military operations in urban terrain must be able to keep up with sprinting soldiers, provide visual cover, be able to interact with nearby objects, have several high quality sensors and robust autonomous functions, allowing the soldiers to focus on other things than controlling the UGV.

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