Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems and U.S.-based uncrewed ground vehicle manufacturer Roboteam have joined forces to launch ROOK, a multi-payload military 6X6 Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) that is fully autonomous, can handle rough terrain, and comes with a deployable multicopter drone. Both the UGV and the drone can also be equipped with weapons.
Better yet, the ROOK can undertake on-field components replacements as well as efficient upgrades and modifications without the presence of qualified technicians. The ROOK is fully autonomous and can efficiently navigate rough terrain, during both day and night "to deliver supplies, evacuate casualties, perform intelligence gathering missions (including by dispatching on-board VTOLs), and operate as a remote weapon system."
The ROOK can follow and execute pre-programmed routes while avoiding obstacles utilizing Elbit's Torch-X RAS sensory/communications system. It can also track soldiers and form conveys with other ROOKs.
Using a weatherproof ruggedized 7-inch portable display unit, it can be controlled remotely in real-time. In terms of energy, ROOK is equipped with a modular hybrid energy configuration of batteries and an optional internal generator giving the vehicle an operational endurance of up to 8 drive hours and a speed of 18 mph (30 km/h).
Finally, the ROOK has a self-weight of 1.2 tonnes, a low center of gravity, and a ground clearance of 9.44 in (24 cm). This means the vehicle can comfortably carry up to 1.2 tonnes of payloads. Elbit provides a video of ROOK where we can see the video following soldiers and even taking their orders while carrying a full payload and transversing treacherous terrain.
The ROOK seems to execute all its tasks smoothly without rocking too much and disturbing its payload. The video also shows several ROOKs working in unison one following the other. At one point a soldier is seen being carried carefully on one of the ROOKs showcasing yet another capability of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the whole ordeal is shown to be controlled remotely by computers.