With the recent developments in the Turkish defence and aerospace sector, the need for special capabilities has arisen. UNIROBOTICS, founded in İstanbul in May, set out to meet the specific needs of weapon systems with its special capabilities, and to provide products and systems with high added value in the areas of electromechanics, embedded systems and mechatronics.
UNIROBOTICS is a joint venture that was co-founded by UNIDEF and Ömür Baç. UNIDEF is well-known both in the national and international sectors, especially for its weapon system integration projects. Ömür Baç, on the other hand, brings the vast experience he has gained in successful projects carried out with BAÇ Engineering to the mechatronics field.
The executive board of UNIROBOTICS consists of Cem Kurter and Utku Aral from UNIDEF, as well as Ömür Baç, who is also the general manager of the company. The scientific advisor of UNIROBOTICS is Assoc. Prof. Zeki Yağız Bayraktaroğlu, who is a member of the Mechanical Engineering faculty of İstanbul Technical University.
Preparing for Bold Projects
The idea to establish UNIROBOTICS emerged during discussions of plans for the future of UNIDEF. Technological developments, end-user demands and the works of the UNIDEF team – especially on the doctrines of weapon systems’ use – led to an understanding of the features that future products must have, some of which required expertise in electromechanics, embedded systems and mechatronics. Speaking about how they decided to move forward at that point, Cem Kurter, UNIDEF founding partner and UNIROBOTICS Executive Board Director, said: “We could have employed engineers from specific disciplines and carried on with the works. However, turning knowledge and experience into a force multiplier is not something that can be achieved by increasing employment alone. We needed an expert in the field to guide and manage our knowledge and experience, and at that point, we came to the conclusion that a separate corporate structure was needed. Mr. Ömür Baç agreed to take the helm and be the leader of this new corporate structure, and so UNIROBOTICS was born.”
One of the first projects of UNIROBOTICS will be the addition of smart features to light weapons, involving the development of integrated embedded systems that will allow the remote control and tracking of weapons. For instance, data on the use, speed, performance and efficiency of the weapon during trainings will be collected, allowing the effectiveness of weapon training to be enhanced. The identification information of authorized personnel will be defined on the weapon, limiting its use by unwanted persons, thereby increasing security and safety. This will bring additional capabilities to the warfare management system. The operational and logistic needs of forces will be instantly recognized through the weapon, which will share real-time situational awareness information on the operation field with the command unit. Summarising their plans, Kurter said: “The weapons will be evolved into smart systems that are able to communicate, to present statistical data, to remove sources of error and to store logistics data.”
Being carried out as part of UNIDEF’s weapon system integration efforts, UNIROBOTICS projects will include the development of gun turrets installed with active stabilizers; remote control gun turrets for land, sea and air platforms; and weapon management systems.
UNIROBOTICS has made a rapid entry into the sector, and the physical infrastructure of the facility, out of which it will operate, has been designed with a view to obtaining facility security clearance and approval as an R&D centre as soon as possible.
UNIROBOTICS Targets the Entire Weapon Market
Ömür Baç, UNIROBOTICS Founding Partner and General Manager, described their journey: “UNIROBOTICS has already taken its place among the exceptional start-ups that are able to launch their operations with substantial contractual projects. As a priority, we aim to complete our founding projects successfully, and we have carefully identified the capabilities that these projects will create. Our aim is to move forward by transferring these capabilities to related, consecutive, or parallel projects, so as to save time in the future. As UNIROBOTICS increases its capabilities, its partner companies will gain maximum benefit from these capabilities, helping us to offer creative solutions, especially to the export market.
UNIROBOTICS will not be developing systems aimed solely at meeting the needs of UNIDEF or its partner companies. It will be an independent brand that will offer special unique solutions as products that are also needed by other companies.”
Regarding the strategy of UNIDEF to achieve its aims with the support of UNIROBOTICS, Kurter said: “We have established our targets based on two sub-strategies. We want to develop and produce light- and medium-calibre weapons within our partner companies, sticking to a realistic schedule. We will enhance our engineering infrastructure and documentation management capabilities to ensure compliance with the current standards, to the integration of these weapons with air, land, and sea platforms. At the same time, we will increase our capabilities in electromechanics, embedded systems, software and mechatronics, all of which are necessary for such integrations, through UNIROBOTICS. In summary, we want to become a company that can produce its own weapons and integrate them into platforms, and to develop the necessary smart systems.
Our secondary strategy is to develop integrated systems by offering these capabilities to the stakeholders in the sector, and to achieve a force multiplier together. We will be seeking to cooperate with other light weapon producers, regardless of whether or not they are our competitors.
Our greatest wish is for UNIDEF, within the next 10 years, to become a company that performs high-level weapon integrations in our region with its stakeholders, having resolved the weapon supply problem; and to expand into the export market by developing integrated systems with the stakeholders in the sector.”