Indian armed forces aim big with artificial intelligence

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From silent sentries to gesture recognition to determine whether an approaching individual is friend or foe, the Indian Armed Forces are poised for massive adoption of AI-based products and systems.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will unveil the first batch of ten products based on AI technology for use by the army, air force, navy and coast guard on Monday. The goal is to introduce at least 75 such technologies this year.

At least four of the ten technologies are believed to be used by the military, including an AI-enabled gesture recognition system developed by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru.

The system uses deep learning technology to identify gestures like a human walking with or without a weapon, crawling with or without a weapon, and crouching with or without a weapon. The system can be easily integrated into a network of IP cameras.

A second key technology would be the Silent Sentinel developed by the Indian Army to fill gaps in surveillance networks. These are rail-mounted robots that would be used as additional eyes and ears on the perimeters of units and facilities to enhance the surveillance network.

With road accidents taking a heavy toll on Indian army drivers, another crucial AI product would be a driver fatigue monitoring system, developed by BEML, Bengaluru.

The real-time, non-intrusive AI-based system will accurately predict and identify situations where driver drowsiness and fatigue may set in. The intelligent system detects the onset of drowsiness in drivers, while the vehicle is in motion.

A camera inside the cabin films the driver continuously. A detection system analyzes the film frame by frame and determines whether the driver’s eyes are open or closed. The system continuously scans for symptoms of drowsiness, while taking into account physical cues such as yawning, droopy eyelids, closed eyes and increased blink duration using the percentage of eyelid closure on the algorithm of the pupil over time.

Other AI-based technologies include target tracking systems for the navy, deep-view canopy inspection for fighter jets, and predictive maintenance suite for the coast guard.

Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar said that eventually 75 AI products will be integrated into the armed forces, while another 100 such products are under development.

The products are in the fields of automation/unmanned/robotic systems, cyber security, human behavior analysis, intelligent surveillance system, logistics and supply chain management, speech/voice analysis and command, control, communication, computing and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and operational data analysis.

Several of these technologies will be showcased at a conference and exhibit the Department of Defense is hosting here on Monday.

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