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Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre SDRC

The Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre (SDRC) is a part of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS) and works on all kinds of topics dealing with robotics for security tasks.

Bild Roboter
SDRZ - Advanced Robotics

One of the SDRZ’s research instruments is ARCHE - Advanced Robotic Capabilities for Hazardous Environment. It is used to assess the technological maturity level and the suitability for use of Swiss robotics for disaster relief. Each year, the SDRZ initialises numerous studies and research projects with academic research institutions and industrial partners.

Infrastructure and Measuring Equipment

SDRC - Rescue Robots in Action - ANYmal in Wangen an der Aare
SDRC - Unique Testing Infrastructure in Wangen an der Aare

The Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre (SDRC) has equipment and infrastructures for characterising unmanned vehicles, their load capacity and their overall system. In addition, it can use laboratories for assessing sensors, communication, electromagnetic, ballistic and thermal protection as well as cyber security. The offer is extended by EMC, EW, NEMP, optronic, explosive laboratories, anechoic chambers and environmental simulation systems.

Robots for deployment in disaster relief are being tested in various systems, for example in a conflagration and a flood system. Both above-ground und underground facilities are available to assess the robustness of robots as well as their defensibility, which allow for the blasting and firing of various types of army weapons. While the systems are distributed all over Switzerland, the core of the SDRC is in Thun, at armasuisse Science and Technology.


SDRZ, Analysis of threat situations
SDRC - Examining the Lethal Effect of Micro-Drones

In addition to services for the technical assessment of communication media, for measuring signatures and testing the protection and robustness of human-machine interfaces, the autonomy and practical suitability of robots, the SDRC also deals with legal, ethical and moral issues regarding the use of equipment. The investigation of threats to the security of Switzerland by unmanned systems and their defence is also a central theme.  For example, studies have been carried out by the SDRC for characterising the effect of the shaped charge of the Slaughterbot video or for the ethical assessment of robots/unmanned systems in the area of security.

The SDRC holds information events for competence development, sensitisation and transfer of expertise to customers.

You can find more information on ARCHE in the Factsheet (pdf). 

Swiss Robotics - Deployment for Disaster Relief of the Future

ARCHE (Advanced Robotic Capabilities for Hazardous Environments) is an instrument which is used to assess the technological maturity level and the suitability for use of Swiss robotics for disaster relief. The rescue and ordnance disposal units (LVb G/Rttg/ABC) of the Swiss military, ETH Zurich and the national research focus «NCCR Robotics» are working together on this project under the leadership of armasuisse S+T.


SDRC - Research Cooperation with Academic Research Institutions
SDRC - Research Cooperation with Academic Research Institutions

In order to build up and expand assessment competence, armasuisse S+T Research is conducting research with national and international partners. In research projects and cooperations, «innovative» mobility concepts, navigation methods without satellite navigation (GNSS), interfaces as well as the robustness and protection of unmanned systems are being examined. For example, the first Cooperation Agreement of Switzerland with the European Defence Agency deals with the topic «Protection of Autonomous Systems Against Enemy Influence». The examination of future applications of robots by the SDRC focuses heavily on the area of disaster relief, including cooperations with the rescue and ordnance disposal units (LVb G/Rttg/ABC) of the Swiss military.

Strategic Advisory Board

At the beginning of 2021, a Strategic Advisory Board with representatives from the Armed Forces, industry, academia and the administration was created under the chairmanship of Dr. Thomas Rothacher. Its aim is to advise on Switzerland’s strategy in the use of robotics in the security environment, as well as to promote the transfer of expertise between civilian and military stakeholders.

Who is behind the Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre?

The SDRC was founded in 2017 by the Technology Centre of the DDPS (armasuisse Science and Technology) and the staff of the Swiss Armed Forces. The Centre is used as an instrument to support the Swiss Armed Forces, and by authorities and organisations with security tasks in the assessment of the opportunities and risks of unmanned systems or robotics. The SDRZ is operated by armasuisse in cooperation with the Swiss Armed Forces and managed by armasuisse Science and Technology.

Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre SDRC armasuisse
Science and Technology
Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
CH-3602 Thun
+41 58 468 27 78


Contact person

Dr. Mark Höpflinger