Case Study: Empowering Special Operations with Onyx’s Unmanned Mobility Applications

Integration of unmanned mobility applications across multi-domain environments is an absolute must for any special operations team committed to mission success. It enables operations in austere environments without risking the integrity of onboard systems or putting humans in harm’s way. 

The use of unmanned systems in a multi-domain tactical environment offers a range of benefits and opportunities, including but not limited to increased situational awareness, better intelligence gathering, and reduced risk to human life


Situational Awareness

Unmanned systems that can transition from one domain to another (maritime-to-ground or ground-to-maritime) can provide vastly more situational awareness by gathering data from various sources, including sensors, cameras, and other equipment. 

Reduced Risk to Human Life

By using unmanned systems, the risk to human life can be significantly reduced, as unmanned systems can perform dangerous tasks such as reconnaissance, surveillance, and neutralization of explosive devices. Being able to seamlessly transition from one domain to another, means unmanned systems can remain at the forefront of front-line operations while human operators remain covered and concealed. 

Increased Mobility

Unmanned systems can operate in difficult terrain and can be used to perform tasks that may be difficult for human personnel. This increases the mobility and flexibility of military operations. But the method of insertion is critical to get the robot into the area of operations. The Onyx JUMP V60 provides airborne mobility to the Vision 60 QUGV so it can be tandem jumped with an operator or jumped independently with a smart guided delivery system like the Airborne Systems JPADS. The Onyx NAUT enables the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 to execute full mission profiles from the ground to the water and back.

Cost Savings

The use of unmanned systems can lead to cost savings in the long run, and their maintenance costs can be lower than those of human-operated systems. Procuring unmanned systems capable of accepting modular payloads and multi-domain unmanned mobility tools, such as the NAUT or JUMP V60, means military forces can procure fewer but much more capable systems.

However, most currently existent unmanned systems are designed for a single domain - weather it be ground, air, or maritime. While this means systems are specialized, it also has meant that robotic and unmanned systems are limited to one specific domain, restricting their ability to navigate without the aid of their human operator.



One of the major challenges in the use of unmanned systems is interoperability. The different systems used in air, ground, and maritime domains may not be compatible, and this could lead to communication breakdowns and delays in decision-making.

Limited to one domain

As one example, unmanned systems designed for ground operations are optimized for that domain, but being unable to cross even a small water feature like a stream or calm river means that unmanned ground systems would not be truly autonomous without human intervention if an environment.


Unmanned systems need to have secure and reliable communication systems to transmit information to decision-makers. In a multi-domain environment, communications need to be able to function across air, ground, and maritime domains, which can be difficult due to the different needs for communication systems in varying environments.

Navigation and Positioning

Navigation and positioning are crucial for unmanned systems. The GPS signals may be disrupted in certain areas, which could affect the accuracy of unmanned systems.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as weather conditions and terrain, can impact the performance of unmanned systems. For example, strong winds can affect the stability of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and difficult terrain can limit the mobility of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV).

Unmanned Mobility Solutions

Onyx actively solves the unmanned systems mobility problem through innovations in the unmanned systems integrations domain, enabling unmanned mobility across multi-domain environments. That way, robots are not restricted to a single domain, allowing seamless integration of human-machine teams to perform in any austere environment while increasing operational effectiveness and ensuring mission success.

NAUT – Autonomous Modular Propulsion System

Onyx’s NAUT enhances traditional maritime capabilities and improves operational effectiveness in the global maritime domain with speed and precision. It is the ultimate plug-and-play autonomous maritime mobility system for easy command and control. 

Modular, autonomous, and secure, NAUT provides maritime mobility capabilities to any buoyant system requiring unmanned thrust and autonomy. It is built to withstand austere conditions and programmed with a proprietary autonomous propulsion method that enables the execution of pre-programmed mission plans or maneuvering the system via a smart controller. NAUT seamlessly integrates with autonomous robotic systems or any other maritime platforms, and connects to conventional networks or through a secure wireless interface for easy command-and-control from anywhere. 

NAUT can be used in a variety of littoral missions – from shallow water scanning, littoral lost object searches and damage assessments, to supporting operators during mine countermeasure missions. 

VEST V60 - Tailored Maritime Flotation Solution

Onyx VEST V60 is tailor-made to provide the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle (QUGV) with enhanced maritime mobility, flotation, and protection. As part of the Onyx’s family of unmanned systems integrations and mobility products, VEST V60 is one of the most durable, rugged, and versatile robotics enablement systems on the market. In addition to Onyx’s JUMP V60 and NAUT maritime jet drive, VEST V60 continues to push the boundaries of what is possible to achieve with the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle (QUGV) in the multi-domain environment.

JUMP V60 - Modular Air Delivery Harness Solution

Onyx JUMP V60 is designed uniquely to provide the Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle (QUGV) with airborne mobility, whether air dropped by itself or tandem jumped with an operator, for the full spectrum of multi-domain operations. It enables unmatched airborne mobility for the full spectrum of multi-domain operations.

Unmanned systems mobility in a multi-domain military tactical environment provides a range of opportunities and challenges. The interoperability of unmanned systems across domains is critical to ensure effective communication and decision-making. The use of unmanned systems can provide valuable situational awareness, reduce the risk to human life, increase mobility and flexibility, and lead to cost savings. To maximize the benefits of unmanned systems, it is crucial to address the challenges and develop systems that are robust, reliable, and interoperable. 

By integrating Onyx’s innovative unmanned mobility products and versatile, future-focused human-machine teaming capabilities, special operations teams can rest assured that zero-fail missions will succeed without risking the integrity of onboard systems or putting humans in harm’s way. 

Curious to learn more?

Get in touch with us today to explore how Onyx can help enhance your team's situational awareness, further intelligence gathering, and reduce risk to human life. 

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