Weekend Roundup



This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

Using the company's KnifeFish UUV, which is a mine countermeasure (MCM) UUV, the General Dynamics Mission Systems' Knifefish team has successfully completed contractor trials for the U.S. Navy's Knifefish program. Using buried, bottom and volume type mine-test targets, the UUV operated in multiple mine test target fields at-sea. At various depths, the UUV showcased its ability to detect, classify and identify potential mines that would serve as unique threats to naval vessels operating in a mission area. (PR Newswire)

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Marine Services team is relying on divers and its AUV to search the depths of Lake Superior, after two people went missing more than a week ago. The MSP has programmed the sonar to “run a course” along Presque Isle, where images of the bottom of the lake can be picked up to see if the victims are there. (WLUC)

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. recently received $14.5 million in contract awards for eight high performance, jet powered UAS, communication, ground control and related systems. The UAS and accompanying technology will be delivered to National Security related customers. (Kratos Defense & Security)

Ocean Infinity recently launched six HUGIN AUVs that each had their own independent mission—all of which surpassed a water depth of 5200 meters. The company says that this is the “deepest dive undertaken by multiple AUVs commercially known,” while adding that this is the first time that six of its HUGIN AUVs have descended further than 5000 meters at the same time. (Ocean Infinity)

On Oct. 30, during Thevar jayanthi, which is an annual commemoration of the birthday of the Indian freedom fighter and politician Pasumpon Muthuramalingam Thevar, a tethered copter was used to accurately capture images of the celebration. Deployed by the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) of Anna University, the tethered copter was developed by the university’s Centre for Aerospace Research team. This was the first time that the copter has been deployed for full-fledged operation. (The Hindu)

During a test trial, China's AV500 unmanned helicopter reached an altitude of 5,006 meters, which is the maximum altitude achieved by a domestically-made unmanned helicopter. The aircraft was developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China helicopter institute, and was tested at Xiahe airport at an altitude of 3,189 meters in northwest China's Gansu Province. (Xinhua News Agency)

In Toronto, two autonomous Uber cars are now periodically driving themselves. The cars, which are operating in an area near the University of Toronto, are not on Uber’s platform, and they aren’t transporting passengers. As of right now, there are no immediate plans to use self-driving cars to serve customers in the city. (TheStar.com)

TomTom has announced that it is completing the collection of data for its High Definition (HD) Map for Japan. The HD Map is used for autonomous driving, and it will cover more than 18,000 kilometers of freeways across Japan. (Business Wire)

Waymo is taking its self-driving cars to Michigan to test the vehicles in snow, sleet and ice. The testing will be two-fold; it will give Waymo the chance to evaluate how its sensors work in wet, cold conditions, and the testing will also build on the advanced driving skills that Waymo has developed over the last eight years, by teaching the vehicles how to handle different situations like skidding on icy, unplowed roads. (Medium.com)

In Devils Lake, North Dakota, plans for a UAS park are being developed. The concept for the UAS park is a joint effort between city officials and engineers. The UAS park could be located near the Devils Lake Regional Airport, which is one of 50 airports in the United States chosen by the FAA to be given automated authorization to fly UAS in controlled airspace. (Bismarck Tribune)

Knightscope, which is a Mountain View, California start-up company, has developed security robots that are currently being used 10 states. The company contracts out four types of indoor and outdoor robotic sentinels, which are described as both “friendly” and “imposing in size.” (Miami Herald)

An “autonomous cutting machine” called the Goliath CNC is designed to crawl over a surface, and etch and cut lines into various materials. The machine, which was created by Lorenzo Frangi, Alessandro Trifoni, and Davide Cevoli, uses a drill bit and multi-directional wheels, and can automatically measure the size of the material being cut. (TechCrunch)