Uconsystem, a South Korean manufacturer of UAVs, demonstrated a strong move into the commercial market at Seoul ADEX 2017 as it builds upon military sales successes.
The RemoEye-002B, still being supplied to the Republic of Korea Army as a battalion-level asset, has been modified into the Remo M-002 this year.
Four sensors are available, including IR, multispectral, daylight and mapping sensors. The Remo M-002’s range is 10km and it weighs 3.5kg. It has been sold to an agent for use by the Korean Association of Surveying and Mapping.
The Remo M-001, meanwhile, weighs just 1.3kg and it can fly for 8km. Launched by hand, it is designed for mapping, forest monitoring and crop condition monitoring.
The six-rotor RemoFarm20 is destined for agricultural use. With its maximum take-off weight being 25kg, it can spray 1.5 hectares of land in eight minutes via a 10-litre spray bottle. Around 30 farmers have acquired the RemoFarm20 already to speed up crop spraying. It follows pre-set coordinates and has an anti-collision function.
The Remo-TOL, essentially a RemoEye capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) thanks to four additional propellers, is now under testing. This 4kg UAV is designed for military customers and the target is a 50-minute endurance. It is not currently achieving that goal, but it should be reached by next year.
Uconsystem also displayed a 1:4 scale model of a UCAV design supposed to launch anti-tank missiles. This is being developed in conjunction with the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), although the company was unable to provide more details due to the secrecy surrounding the project.
A sister company to Uconsystem under the Foosung group is Firstec. It showed its Scobot-R UGV, with the ‘R’ denoting rescue. It is larger than the already existing 51kg Scobot 200, and it is currently under testing. The 100kg Scobot-R can lift a maximum of 25kg.
This multipurpose tracked robot that can carry surveillance cameras, X-ray or other sensors. It can move at a speed of 10km/h and its manipulator arm is 1.8m long.
Brandon Park, Firstec’s manager of the overseas business team, said the South Korean military is looking for a larger robot that does not have to be imported from overseas, which is a gap the Scobot-R is designed to fill.
Firstec is also working on the VTOL Aerial Robot System (VARS, pictured above) in conjunction with the Korea Aeronautics Research Institute (KARI). Powered by Orbital Power ORB-92L rotary engines, the company is now extending its endurance from one hour to three.
A slightly smaller model of the VARS was shown at Seoul ADEX, whereas the actual prototype is 2m wide. Its maximum take-off weight is 40kg, and it can fly at a speed of 150km/h with an operational range of 8km. Development is expected to be completed next month.
On 18 October, Firstec signed a memorandum of agreement with UVision from Israel at Seoul ADEX. Under the agreement, Firstec will market and supply the Hero 30 lethal loitering/retrievable UAV system to South Korea.
After the Hero 30 is launched from a portable canister, its flight surfaces pop out and it flies for up to 30 minutes to a range of up to 40km. It carries an EO/IR sensor and 500g warhead, with an operator able to select a targets of opportunity.