Elbit Systems created a small quadcopter to locate, identify and attack an enemy. Lanius is classified as a short-range loitering munition for complex environments and is part of the Legion-X robotic and autonomous combat solution.
Lanius is highly maneuverable and designed for short-range operation in the urban environment and is capable of flying inside buildings. During its flight the system can autonomously scout and map buildings and points of interest for possible threats. Also, it detects, classifies objects, and syncs to Elbit Systems’ Legion-X solutions. Furthermore, the Lanius can transport lethal or non-lethal payloads and is capable of performing a broad range of mission profiles for special forces, military and law enforcement.
Lanius has a maximum take-off weight of 1,25 kg, and a payload weight of 150 g. The operational top speed when flying outside goes up to 72 km/h with an endurance of seven minutes. It can use Wi-Fi or software-defined radio communications.
For take-off, navigation, and scouting the Lanius has an autonomous mode. It can gather data to build and update three-dimensional maps of the environment by using the images from its electro-optics and a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithm. This makes it possible for the Lanius to identify doors and windows and maneuver inside buildings. This capability is achieved through the drone’s artificial intelligence (AI) technologies powered by an NVIDIA Jetson TX2 processor, allowing the drone to formulate a 3D map of its surroundings, which is then fed back to the operator through a handheld remote device.
The system is also capable of autonomously identifying hostile humans. To distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, Lanius uses its threat and weapons classification abilities that are also supported by its AI-powered core. But the attack can only be made by the control of a human operator who has to approve before Lanius can conduct the attack.
Lanius can be used as an individual unit or as part of a swarm using the Legion-X system. By using the Legion-X system controlling multiple unmanned systems with minimal human oversight is made possible.
Operational advantages of the Lanius
- BVLOS ISR and attack capabilities (search and attack in one for complex environments)
- Equipped to engage with the target (man-in-the-loop)
- Extreme maneuverability
- Minimal user interaction – HMT mode
- Electronic safe & arm
- Low collateral damage
Key Features of the Lanius
- Legion-X compatible
- Racer Quadcopter drone frame and motor – high-speed engagement
- Navigation and mapping indoor/outdoor/transition
- Onboard computing power supporting AI advanced algorithm for collision avoidance/mapping/ classification
- Wi-Fi or SDR communication
- Highly autonomous tactical sUAS