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Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET)

The U.S. Army launched the Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program to pursue carry-burden relief for soldiers in the field, by offloading weight from a dismounted soldier, squad, or unit. The Army selected manufacturer General Dynamics to build the SMET platform. RRAI integrated our AutoDrive® platform onto the SMET to remove the need for a dedicated vehicle operator and enable a single operator to control several vehicles at once.

“SMET-A,” the autonomous model of the platform, is an 8-wheel uncrewed robotic mule with hybrid-electric powertrain. In addition to carrying up to 1,000 lbs. of gear, equipment or munitions, the vehicle serves as a mobile power supply for an infantry squad.

When integrated with RRAI’s WarLoc™ troop tracking system, SMET-A can wirelessly follow dismounts.  The vehicle can also be teleoperated using RRAI’s Pocket Universal Controller Kit (PUCK). In fully autonomous mode or otherwise, SMET-A is an exceptional tool with myriad defense applications.

Example SMET-A use cases:

Robotic mule to carry equipment

Sensor deployment

Crewed-Uncrewed Teaming

ISR, CBRNE, EW payloads

2D/3D mapping in GPS and GPS-denied areas

Communications relay

Subterranean and urban operations

Search and rescue

Security operations/force protection



SMET Winter Testing, Episode 1

South-Central Idaho

November 2022

SMET Winter Testing, Episode 2

South-Central Idaho

November 2022

National Defense Magazine, October 21, 2022

"Vendor to Compete for New Robotic Mule Contract"

AUSTIN, Texas — The Army is preparing to launch a competition for the second increment of the Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport, or SMET, better known as its “robotic mule.”

The service has pursued a platform that can take the burden off foot soldiers and carry backpacks, supplies or wounded troops since the beginning of the defunct Future Combat Systems program. FCS was canceled in 2009, but the Army continued to pursue the concept, especially as infantry fought in the rugged Afghanistan mountains.

General Dynamics was awarded an increment 1 contract for $249 million in 2020 for its Multi-Utility Tactical Transport.

It also has a 16-kilowatt generator and can offload up to 15 kilowatts of power, which makes it a “self-propelled generator,” he added.

The diesel-electric hybrid has a 200-mile range, can travel 7.5 miles in silent mode, can haul 2,200 pounds and fits in a V-22 Osprey, he said. HDT has also developed a basic autonomy kit that can follow waypoints and avoid obstacles.

Full article:

More than 20 Years Experience Developing Autonomy for Defense.