The agreement is the latest in a number of deals that highlight the multi-channel use-case for SOR’s market-leading technology.

Tech venture firm Strategic Elements Ltd (ASX:SOR) continues to find important new use-cases for the autonomous platform being developed by its fully-owned subsidiary, Stealth Technologies.

And the technology has caught the eye of Australia’s defence sector, as SOR announced this morning that it will carry out a feasibility and scoping study with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group).

A division of the Australian Department of Defence, the DST Group is dedicated to applying science and technology support in the protection of Australia’s national interests.

One of its key priorities is to develop solutions that nullify the threat of weapons attacks generated from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) sources.

As part of its research, the DST group has developed search algorithms that specialise in locating CBRN sources from a given area.

In that context, the goal of the feasibility and scoping study is to integrate those algorithms into an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) developed by Stealth Technologies, that is autonomously launched and landed by a Stealth autonomous UGV (ground vehicle).

By combining the respective strengths of both technologies, both Stealth and the DST Group are aiming to develop technology that can be deployed in high-risk areas and locate CBRN sources without putting humans in harm’s way.

It marks a key initiative to a modern-day defence problem, where the threat of advanced CBRN attacks against both defence personnel and civilian populations is a growing.

The deployment of Stealth’s UAV enables “rapid traversing of the area using sensors to map and/or monitor the location of CBRN sources”, SOR said.

Technology stack

The research partnership with the DST Group is the latest in a number of important developments for the Stealth team, led by the continued progress of its autonomous security vehicle (ASV) technology.

Earlier this month, the ASV passed a major milestone with the completion of on-site acceptance testing at WA’s Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison correctional facility.

In addition, Stealth’s next generation AxV Autonomous Mobile Platform is being upgraded with a ‘sensor fusion stack’ that includes additional sensors such as LiDAR, radar, GPS, sonar, and thermal imaging.

The advanced product offering will open up addressable markets for advanced sensor technology in security, mining and defence, SOR said.

Stealth is also working on a partnership with US-based autonomous drone technology company, Planck AeroSystems, that will enable autonomous drones to launch and land from Stealth’s ground-based ASV.

Separately to that, the company is integrating Wildcat SLAM technology developed by the CSIRO’s Data61 unit into its ASV technology, which leverages more than 10 years of research allowing robots to work in teams.

Weighing it all up, SOR CEO Charles Murphy said the company is positioning for a major market transition.

“We strongly believe there is a huge shift underway in the automation of human function and the machines that we use,” Murphy said.

“The automation and robotics platform that we are continuing to build and deploy has a tremendous opportunity in front of it and we have a great technical team being superbly led by executive director Elliot Nicholls.”

“Stealth Technologies is looking forward to working with the world class team at the DST Group.”

This article was developed in collaboration with Strategic Elements, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.