Ukrainian robot drone gets Starlink connectivity to combat Russia

Estonia-based company Milrem Robotics has integrated Starlink satellite communications into its THeMis Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

The Starlink communication system, developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, will allow THeMis robots to be safely deployed to the battlefield.

By leveraging connectivity, the robots can seamlessly transmit data, receive commands and relay vital information in real time, Milrem Robotics said in a press release.

Overall, the company has delivered 14 THeMis vehicles to Ukrainian soldiers.

Seven of them were used to carry cargo for casualty evacuation, while the others were equipped with payloads from the French CNIM Group, designed to support route clearance and demining operations.

The company says it will officially unveil the new system at Eurosatory 2024, a global event for Defence and Security that is happening this week.

Ukrainian military heavily relies on Starlink to communicate, gather intelligence, and conduct drone attacks. Meanwhile, the Russian army is testing electronic weapon systems to disrupt communications, according to a May New York Times report.

Both Ukrainian and Russian armies are increasingly using unmanned ground vehicles, as drones on the battlefield make it difficult and risky to maneuver for soldiers.

Ground robots are becoming prized assets. In February, Russia doubled the reward for capturing THeMis to around $22,000, Defencenews reported.

Among other unmanned ground vehicles used by Ukraine forces is Ratel S, a remotely controlled kamikaze robot that can carry anti-tank missiles and a combat module.