Overview

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition, run on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), aims to develop and demonstrate the components of a telexistence solution to the defence and security community.

Scope

A telexistence capability can be defined as a system, or a system of systems, which allows a human user to operate in an environment without physically being there. This could be achieved by using a real-time, remotely operated avatar which relies on the integration of:

  • Telepresence: a visual-audio solution which enables a human operator to experience the sensation of self-presence in a remote environment
  • Haptic feedback: an immersive solution which transmits sensory information from the remote environment to the human operative
  • Robotics: a manoeuvrable solution which enables a human operator to interact with the remote environment

This competition seeks to assess proposals from each of the three technology groupings (challenge areas), but submissions that combine two or more of these challenge areas are also encouraged.

The primary requirements that apply across each of the Phase 1 challenge areas include:

  • creating a system that provides a human user with the sensation of self-existence in the remote environment (for example, real time feedback)
  • developing a system that can be remotely operated
  • the connection between the human and system in the remote environment should be wirelessly operated

View full details of all 3 challenge areas here.

This competition has 4 aspirations:

  • to understand the technical possibilities and potential applications of a telexistence capability for the defence and security community
  • to understand the technology gaps to inform decisions about where the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) should invest in the future
  • to increase the awareness of the defence and security requirement within industry and academia
  • to increase awareness of the potential of this technology amongst defence and security stakeholders

To achieve these ambitions, Phase 1 will support the development and demonstration of the components of a telexistence system (or complete systems if this has already been achieved).

Submissions for this phase should identify how the system could be developed in the future to meet a defence and security use case. The Dstl project team is exploring several use cases for telexistence technologies, an example of which includes Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). This technology concept could not only increase the speed of military deployment but also mitigate the human risk associated with operating in hazardous environments.

Funding Costs

Total funding for this challenge is expected to be up to £500k for Phase 1.

If successful, contracts should complete by the end of May 2021.

Bids are expected to be no more than £100k, but an upper threshold has not been sent for the amount of proposals which may be funded as part of this Phase 1 competition.

DASA plan to fund multiple submissions during Phase 1 and expect the level of investment to vary depending on the maturity of the technology.

Exclusions

For this competition DASA are not interested in:

  • receiving ideas for literature reviews that respond to the specific challenge areas
  • consultancy proposals
  • fully autonomous systems
  • solutions which do not provide the human operator with complete control of the system
  • artificial intelligence
  • solutions which deviate from the telepresence, haptic and robotic challenge areas

View full competition document here.

 

Interested in applying for this competition?

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