DASA launches search for telexistence technology

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is looking to develop and demonstrate innovative technology or novel solutions that would give military personnel, emergency services, or humanitarian workers the capability to operate in hazardous environments without physically being present.

On behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), we are calling on innovators to submit their ideas for ‘telexistence’ technologies with £500,000 funding available for multiple proposals.

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.

Potential use cases aimed at keeping people safe by reducing the risks associated with physically operating in a hazardous environment include explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN), space exploration, firefighting etc.

There is the potential for this competition (Phase 1) to be followed by a second competition (Phase 2) which will invite proposals to tailor their telexistence systems to meet a defence and security use case.

We are looking to fund proposals with values between £10K and £100K, but have not set an upper funding limit for this Phase 1 competition. Projects should complete by 31 May 2021 and showcase their innovation at a demonstration event to be held in the UK.

The deadline for proposals is at midday GMT on Thursday 19 November 2020.

The full scope of this challenge can be found in the competition document.

A registration event will be taking place on 14 October 2020.

There will also be a series of 1-2-1 information events on 21 October and 22 October, 2020.

Here is a link to register for a 1-2-1 session on 21 October, 2020.

Here is a link to register for a 1-2-1 session on 22 October, 2020.

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