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Guardium, developed by G-NIUS, is an Israeli unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) used to combat and guard against invaders along Gaza's border. It started off as a joint program between Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Industries and is now being used by Israeli forces. It can be used in either tele-operated or autonomous mode. Both modes do not demand human interaction for the vehicle to work; thus, giving the operator full audio and visual of the vehicle's surroundings at all times. Both modes of operation make it possible for the Israeli soldiers to fight off any attacker without actually having to risk their lives. When working in groups the vehicles are able to work together and cooperate within the network. The more unmanned ground vehicles out patrolling the area the less human resources needed while also guaranteeing a highly efficient deterrence whenever it is around. The joint program was terminated in April 2016, but the vehicle will remain in service with the Israel Defense Forces.
Guardium is equipped all around with sufficient amount of armor to protect itself in light fire attacks and against multiple enemies. The vehicle is 2.95 meters long, 1.8 meters wide and 2.2 meters high. It is considered to be a medium-sized combat vehicle, about the size of a Jeep J8; it weighs 1.4 tons and can go up to 80 km/h for up to several days depending on the amount of usage. The vehicle is equipped with: infrared cameras, radars, high-sensitivity microphones, visible sensors, and hostile fire indicators. Its equipment was built for unpredicted attacks, but its main purpose is to keep surveillance. Since attacks can occur the vehicles contain both lethal and non-lethal weapons for its protection. It is quite easy to operate with its stationary, mobile, and portable operational versions. It can be remotely controlled by the mobile command station where the computers have built in maps that lead the Guardium along the Gaza border. It can also be pre-programmed to drive itself along the routes given to it. With its powerful sensors it can detect and avoid unpredicted obstacles along with its infrared camera that helps spot any invaders in the dark. When it goes off road the cameras help it travel in any kind of terrain and weather.
Autonomous robots work with their surroundings and make their decisions based on it. The vehicle or robot can work for extended periods of time without having any human interaction. In this mode it can be set to a certain location or can be put on a ground path and it will cover its designated area until needed or for up to 103 consecutive hours. This mode is beneficial since it can sense abnormal circumstances and avoid them; it also keeps people and itself from harm.
The tele-operated mode lets the Israeli forces know the Guardium's whereabouts at all times. The vehicle is controlled by the people monitoring its environment. It sends data to the command station letting them know its location, destination, and the view of its surroundings though its rotating camera. It is possible because of the wireless connection built inside the vehicle that transmits the data directly to the server in the command station.
The main camera is up on top which can rotate a full 360 degrees for full access to the terrain. The cameras can capture thermal images and they have the ability to take videos in certain situations. In cases when the guardium comes across an invader it will record the confrontation for government records and for future access. The cameras have built in auto-target so that it comes to focus when an enemy or object comes in range. They also have back up batteries to in cases where they need to run for 24 hours non-stop.
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