6 July 2021

Delegation of Dutch and US army visits Fontys ICT InnovationLab

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On Wednesday 7 July representatives of the Ministry of Defence will visit the Fontys ICT InnovationLab. For their visit, they've also invited a delegation from the US Army. This visit to the Brainport region will be about the cooperation in the development of robotisation and autonomous systems, on which a lot of applied research is done within Fontys.

The visit is at the invitation of Brainport Development, which plays an important role in making the expertise available in the region visible. Earlier in the day, the Automotive Campus Helmond will be visited. Following the visit to the InnovationLab, the delegation will also visit the 'neighbours' of Sita Robotics at Strijp-T.

Robotic and Autonomous Systems

Within the Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) project, the Dutch Army will investigate the possibilities of robots and autonomous systems to support the military in the next two years. The Ministry of Defence sees robotization as one of the greatest military developments of our time. They offer potential solutions that make the conduct of military operations safer and more efficient, but also offer potential in autonomous transport and communication.

Working together to explore innovations

The RAS project explores existing systems, but also systems that are still under development and new innovations. To this end, the army is working together with various universities of applied sciences, including Fontys Hogescholen (ICT and Engineering), TNO and the business community. Within this visit, the Ministry of Defence is also looking at the possibilities of a Brainport cooperation. The presence of the American delegation from American Future Command (AFC)/Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate (MCDID) is related to international cooperation; the US is also exploring applications of robotics and autonomous systems.

Applied research in a hybrid learning environment

The Ministry of Defence is already affiliated with the Fontys ICT InnovationLab as a work field partner. This means that within the hybrid learning environment, they work together with researchers/teachers and Fontys students on practical issues. An example is the Smart Tactical Robot project, where the development of autonomously moving robots for training applications was explored by students. During the visit, the cooperation will be discussed, especially with the Fontys professorship High Tech Embedded Software of professor Teade Punter.

As a University of Applied Sciences, Fontys works closely with business partners and a network of universities of applied sciences within the UAS-NL network. Together they strengthen the impact of applied research within the European Innovation Region.

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