Local EOD robots ready for action
The Defence Science and Technology Department (DSTD) have certified two locally made Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robots to be used for commercial purposes and in Thailand's deep south.
The Defence Technology Institute (DTI) announced on Wednesday the DSTD certified its two C-IED robot models, D-Empir V4 and Noonar V4.
The robots were developed under the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Robots project for equipping military and civilian missions such as the recovery and disposal of explosive ordnance.
The D-Empir V4 model was developed by DTI and Mahanakorn University of Technology (MUT) under a project initiated in 2017. The robots will be sent to the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Office for distribution in the country's provinces in the deep south.
MUT rector Parnawee Pokai-udom said Thailand used to import EOD robots that cost from 8 million to 50 million baht per unit. The imported EOD models were not always suited to Thailand's hot and humid weather which often led to maintenance problems, he said.
"D-Empir V4 robots are designed for quicker explosive disposal and they can be returned to MUT if needed for maintenance. MUT can provide spare parts and service without shipping the robots abroad," he said.
The other EOD model Noonar V4 was developed by DTI and Prince of Songkla University. With its composite materials, the model is small and light for convenient use, yet flexible and durable, said DTI Director-General Choochart Buakhao.
Noonar V4's quality is as high as those of foreign EOD robots, Mr Choochart said while adding that production costs are less than imported EOD robots. The DTI plans to upgrade production of the robot to an industrial scale and sales of the robot will create revenue for Thailand, he said.