Things to look out for at Eurosatory, part 1

From small rugged robots to private telephone networks, via hand-held chemical and biological detection systems and mobile border control systems, French security sector small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and larger ones too, were today (18 May) providing journalists with a preview of the novelties they will be exhibiting at the Eurosatory show next month.

The products were fascinating and revealed yet again that innovation often comes from SMEs who are perhaps more agile and have less red-tape to deal with than some of their very large colleagues in the sector.

I’ll be detailing these products today and tomorrow, in no particular order.

HGH Infrared System's Spynel. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

HGH Infrared System’s Spynel. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

Spynel, made by HGH Infrared System a 50-person SME (of whom 20 are dedicated to R&D), is a compact infrared surveillance camera. It comes in five versions: C (the original, securing more than 100 sites in the world today), S (automatically detects human intrusion up to 12km away), U (which includes a day camera), X (the most powerful, able to detect a person up to 8km away), and M, the newest and at just 20cm high for 1.8kg, the smallest, member of the family, born in 2015 and designed specifically for special forces who can carry it in their backpacks and deploy it quickly to warn them of any human intrusion within a 750m radius of their position.

 

Not an army of ants but of Nerva robots carrying different payloads. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

Not an army of ants but of Nerva robots carrying different payloads. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

Nerva, by Nexter Robotics, is not a newcomer (it was first

introduced at Eurosatory in 2012) but it has evolved considerably since then and now has more than 20 different payloads. It has been sold not only to France’s police and gendarmerie special forces (RAID and GIGN respectively) but also to their counterparts in a number of other European nations such as Belgium and Switzerland. But the bulk of sales are in the defence sector. Joel Robillon, director of Nexter Robotics, told FOB that “Nerva is limited only by one’s imagination!

The person's foot gives a good idea of Nerva's size. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

The person’s foot gives a good idea of Nerva’s size. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

The little robot will be used during this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to scan the underside of vehicles as they enter carparks.

 

 

 

 

... a track, if this is more convenient for the terrain it needs to cover. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

… a track, if this is more convenient for the terrain it needs to cover. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzi

The wheels of the Nerva can be removed like and a DVD from its box and just as quickly to be replaced by... (photo credit: Christina Mackenzie)

The wheels of the Nerva can be removed like and a DVD from its box and just as quickly to be replaced by… (photo credit: Christina Mackenzie)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can see the aerial that has been tucked into the space between the hardware and the plastic casing. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

Here you can see the aerial that has been tucked into the space between the hardware and the plastic casing. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

Air-Lynx has developed the most compact 4G private LTE (line terminating equipment) network in the world. What does this mean exactly? It means that when police, for example, have to operate in a remote area where the local mobile phone network is very slow or non-existent (and there are such “white” spots in France), then they can set up the Air Lynx system in less than two minutes and have a functioning and private mobile phone and radio network. The novelty is that the antenna is now integrated into the box following a request from the RAID, the French police special forces, who wanted to save the time, even if this was just a minute or two, needed to set up the antenna.

 

This gives you an idea of just how small the Air-Lynx system is. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

This gives you an idea of just how small the Air-Lynx system is. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie