Increasing Human Potential

Unmanned Systems are transforming our lives

Read the latest on how unmanned systems or intelligent robots are helping researchers, public entities and corporations in ways previously impossible.

Increasing Human Potential

Unmanned systems increase our human potential.They enable us to execute dangerous and difficult tasks safely and efficiently, saving lives.

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With the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation worth $1.5 million, a group of Virginia Tech engineers will pair up human researchers with UAS, in hopes of redefining search and rescue protocols.

Utilizing autonomous algorithms and machine learning, the UAS will complement search and rescue efforts from the air. Additionally, they will suggest tasks and send updated information to human searchers on the ground. 

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In Florida, Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies recently used a UAS to find and safely recover a missing elderly man.

The man became lost for more than two hours after wandering from his residence. After the man failed to return to his residence, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted, and a ground search was conducted by patrol deputies, with help from the K9 Unit, Agriculture Unit, Traffic Unit and Investigations Division. Meanwhile, the Aviation Unit searched for the man by air.

Shortly before 5 p.m., the CCSO Drone Operations Unit was deployed, and the search area was immediately divided into a grid, with six UAS flying the area in search of the missing man. Approximately 30 minutes after the unit was deployed, the missing man was spotted through a canopy of trees walking between a house and garage of a residence.

Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent corporation Alphabet, has launched a drone delivery service in North Canberra, Australia.

Through Wing’s service, customers can order a variety of items on Wing’s mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes via UAS in minutes.

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SAE International, Ford, General Motors (GM) and Toyota have announced the formation of the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), which will work to safely advance testing, pre-competitive development and deployment of SAE Level 4 and 5 automated vehicles.

The AVSC will provide a safety framework that will foster the responsible evolution of autonomous technology before broad development, the entities say. They add that ultimately, the work will “inform and accelerate the development of industry standards” for autonomous vehicles (AVs), and harmonize with the efforts of other consortia and standards bodies throughout the world.

The Ocean Pines Police Department in Ocean Pines, Maryland is now utilizing UAS to search for missing people.

Just last week, the department used its UAS to help in the search of a missing 79-year-old woman. The department also recently had two separate incidents of missing persons within the same week.

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Through a collaboration with Peachtree Corners, Georgia and the city’s startup incubator, Prototype Prime, the new Paul Duke STEM High School in Norcross, Georgia was awarded a 2019 Infinite Energy STEAM Education Grant of $2,000, which will be used to launch the school’s UAS program.

​The UAS program will be designed to engage students in the full life cycle of designing, building and operating UAS for professional applications, as well as racing.