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The Jaguar traversing through the land (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)

New semi-autonomous robot to be deployed to Gaza border

The Jaguar is equipped with dozens of sensors, an automated driving system and advanced fire capabilities.

The IDF’s Gaza division will soon deploy a new semi-autonomous robotic ground vehicle called the Jaguar along the border with the Gaza Strip, replacing soldiers along the border where they could be targets by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.Developed over the past year and half by Israel Aerospace Industries in close cooperation with the technological department of the IDF’s Ground Forces Command, it is currently being integrated into the Gaza division.

The Jaguar is equipped with dozens of sensors, an automated driving system, and advanced fire capabilities.

Based on a six-wheeled chassis, it is equipped with a 7.62mm MAG machine gun that can be operated remotely against suspicious objects or people, both while stationary or on the move.

The Jaguar uses high-resolution cameras, dozens of sensors, transmitters and a remote-controlled PA system, and is powered by an electric motor that allows it to patrol the border fence with a low heat signature.

It also has the ability to transmit its precise location to a UAV so that it can be destroyed from the air should it fall into enemy hands.

With IDF observers and commanders in full operational control, the robot can compute a route for itself and then drive itself to the destination. Using its advanced driving system, the Jaguar can also spot and bypass obstacles in its way.

The Jaguar robot traversing the land. (Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

“We have led a groundbreaking technological development – an independent robot that reduces the combat soldier’s friction with the enemy and prevents risks to human life,” Lt.-Col. Nathan Kuperstein, Head of Autonomy and Robotics at the IDF’s Land Technology Division was quoted by the military as saying. “It even knows how to charge itself – almost like an iRobot.”

The Jaguar can be used for a wide range of missions including intelligence, surveillance and armed reconnaissance as well as convoy protection, decoy and attack roles.

By using the robot instead of soldiers, it “thus reduces the risk to human life,” the IDF said in a statement, adding that “the Jaguar is one of the most innovative ground robots of the ‘smart and deadly’ border project in the northern division of the Gaza Strip.”During  Operation Guardian of the Walls, last month, the IDF relied heavily on robots and machine learning, calling the fighting the first “Artificial Intelligence War.”

“For the first time, artificial intelligence was a key component and power multiplier in fighting the enemy,” a senior IDF officer told reporters in May. “This is a first-of-its-kind campaign for the IDF – we implemented new methods of operation and used technological developments that were a force multiplier for the entire IDF.”

As part of the Momentum multi-year program, the Israeli military has been focusing on turning the military into a deadly, hi-tech force, and has invested a significant portion of the military’s plans on innovation and advanced technology.

The IDF’s Combat and Innovation Methods Division was opened last year and is leading plans for developing future weapons systems in order to meet threats the military will likely face in the future.

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