Weekend Roundup



This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

In front of representatives of the Army and the special operation forces of Indonesia, UAVOS Inc. recently demonstrated an “unmanned aerial complex” with a gasoline-powered helicopter UVH-29E. The robotized helicopter demonstrated its biggest strength—being able to operate in a tropical and humid maritime climate—as it successfully completed all of its tasks. UAVOS investor and Board member Vadim Tarasov says that the UAV helicopter has a number of potential use cases, including anti-terrorist operations, law enforcement and intelligence operations, and search and rescue operations.

Essex Industries, which offers a plethora of Platform Controls including weapons system officer (WSO) hand controllers for fixed-wing, rotary and land combat vehicles, is celebrating 70 years in business. The company was started in 1947, when Harold Guller developed and sold a Radio Noise Filter for the F-214 aircraft. Since that first offering in 1947, Essex says that it has been a part of “virtually every major military and commercial aerospace program.”

During InterDrone 2017, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced the company’s new Intel Insight Platform, which is a “cloud-based data processing, analytics and reporting service” that gives customers the capability to store, share and manage the data collected by commercial UAS. According to Intel, the Intel Insight Platform will unlock business value by helping harness data collected during a UAS flight. Select enterprise accounts will be the first to have access to the Intel Insight Platform. (Intel)

Steve Edgar, Co-Founder of Empire Unmanned, LLC, is now a member of the UASCA Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), after being appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office. The ARC was created to focus on large UAS that operate in controlled airspace. As a member of the ARC, Edgar will help “oversee regulations and policies regarding the flight of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in higher elevations of federally regulated airspace in the U.S.” (Empire Unmanned Facebook Page)

Liquid Robotics has announced the next generation of the Wave Glider USV, which has received improvements in its operational range, as well as its “performance for missions in high sea states and high latitudes.” The USV should be fully capable of long duration maritime surveillance, environmental monitoring and observation missions, thanks to additional improvements made to expand the sensor payload, and increase the energy and storage capacity of the USV. (Liquid Robotics)

FoxFury Lighting Solutions, LLC., which provides “innovative, premium, portable lighting tools,” has introduced a “rugged, go-anywhere light” called the Rugo, which is ideal for UAS inspections and public safety markets. Compact enough to fit on an action camera, the Rugo is powerful enough to illuminate the immediate field of view of a user. Besides its ability to be mounted on a UAS, the Rugo can also be mounted on a GoPro, a DSLR and a tripod. (FoxFury Lighting Solutions)

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office used a UAS to help locate a missing man in Ashburn, Virginia on September 2. The 75-year-old man was reported missing on the evening of September 1, but was found safe the next morning, and is in good health. The people that operated the UAS were members of the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team, and are licensed pilots through the FAA. (The Loudoun Tribune)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is hoping to use UAS as a new tool to respond to natural disasters. A team from NCDOT’s Division of Aviation Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Office recently worked with the Highway Division 1 Office on a test exercise designed to “explore the benefits of drones as a disaster response planning tool.” The UAS would not replace manned aircraft; instead, they would work with manned aircraft and fill a unique niche, as they provide “quicker responses and more low-level, small-area surveys.” (WAVY.com)

Starting next year, the Japan Post will start using UAS to carry mail from post office to post office. The UAS will initially be used to carry items to remote post offices like those in mountainous areas and remote islands, which have been traditionally expensive to get to. Besides just testing UAS, the postal service also has plans to test self-driving cars by the end of the current fiscal year, up until next March. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Back in May of this year, researchers from NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab and the University of Delaware discovered two shipwrecks that were previously unknown. They were found nearly 300 feet below the surface of Lake Huron. The discoveries were made during an exploratory research project funded by NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Between June and August, follow-up investigations were conducted, in which an AUV from Michigan Technological University’s Great Lakes Research Center and a Northwestern Michigan College-provided and piloted remotely operated vehicle (ROV) were utilized. The AUV was used to fly close to the shipwrecks and “obtain sonar images of the precise dimensions and details to aid archaeologists in identifying the lost ships,” according to Guy Meadows, the director of the Great Lakes Research Center. The ROV was used for further site investigation. (Michigan Tech)