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Research Program 56 - Unmanned Mobile Systems

Capability Enhancement, Reducing Workload and Protecting People

unbemannte mobile Systeme
Forschungsprogramm unbemannte mobile Systeme

Unmanned systems will fundamentally change the field in which security forces operate.

There is a wide range of potential applications, extending from information gathering, monitoring, protection, disruption, deception and explosive ordnance disposal to logistic tasks. Unmanned systems significantly reduce the potential risks to which people are exposed and are thus ideally suited to carrying out missions in hostile environments.

The aim of the research program is to safeguard technical and scientific expertise for assessing the operational use of unmanned systems on the ground and in the air. Operational opportunities and risks will also be demonstrated.

Ultimately, the program also aims to support Swiss security policy in matters relating to ethics, international law and arms control in conjunction with unmanned systems.


Areas of expertise


Today‘s robotics are opening up new locomotion concepts that are fundamentally different from the drive technologies employed in classical vehicle construction. New ‚intelligent‘ mechanical designs and advanced control algorithms are being investigated in order to improve movement behavior and patterns as regards agility, energy efficiency and versatility.


Advances in localization, mapping and path planning are needed if unmanned systems are to operate very reliably in unknown challenging areas, largely without human support. The program will produce solutions which will function without external navigation aids (e.g. GPS) and regardless of communication failures.


Unmanned mobile systems open up major potential benefits but they also pose risks and dangers to humans and the environment. In addition to topics such as intuitive man-machine interfaces and interfaces between machines operating in parallel, studies into protecting humans and the environment against threats from unmanned systems are of vital importance.


The development of enabling technologies for sensor systems, drive and control engineering, data processing, energy conversion and storage, and communications will advance unmanned systems significantly. This process will be driven by civilian markets, allowing the relevant components to be adapted to military needs for integrating into an overall system.


The potential for employing unmanned systems is diverse, extending from intelligence gathering missions (SIGINT, COMINT, RADINT, IMINT, ELINT), surveillance, communication, disruption and deception and explosive ordnance disposal to transporting people and goods. The research program will investigate unarmed applications, mainly in the area of information acquisition and logistics.

Science and Technology Research Management
and Operations Research
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun
+41 58 468 27 78

Research Program Manager

Dr. Markus Höpflinger

Science and Technology

Research Management
and Operations Research
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun