Amphibious robotic Guardbot drones are powered by cloud technologies

March 13, 2020
GuardBot’s amphibious and land-based drones can be outfitted to carry a variety of payloads such as audio/visual sensors, fire retardant liquids and ground penetrating radar.

In this week’s roundup from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, which highlights some of the latest news and headlines in unmanned vehicles and robotics, amphibious guard drones, evolving medical supply deliveries via aerial drones, and new factory certification training programs.

Compiled by Brian Sprowl, Associate Editor, AUVSI

Aquiline Drones to power GuardBot's spherical and amphibious robotic vehicles via AD Cloud

Cloud and drone technologies company Aquiline Drones (AD) has announced that it will power the spherical and amphibious robotic vehicles from engineering company GuardBot using the AD Cloud (ADC).

Aquiline notes that ADC takes full advantage of its capacity, modularity and truly salient features for autonomous assignments, operations and quests, which makes it ideal for unmanned vehicle operations.

“In the coming months, ADC will undergo rigorous testing, hosting and management trials with GuardBot’s proprietary software application. ADC’s highly modular AI architecture is suitable for crucial customization of solutions typically not available in the open marketplace,” explains Barry Alexander, founder and CEO of Aquiline Drones and AD Cloud Services.

“And, as an unmanned vehicle cloud, no other cloud platform provides the same level of robustness and salient features that enable complex mission planning scenarios, autonomous flight and ground operations powered by AI and IoT infrastructure management.”  

Ranging from 6.5 inches to seven feet in diameter, GuardBot’s circular drones use a patented drive-mechanism to move. The mechanism can easily provide forward and backward motion as well as make 360-degree turns.

The drones can operate continuously for up to 25 hours on just one charge. They can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour on land, and three miles per hour in water.

Each GuardBot is equipped with pods on its right and left sides that contain interchangeable sensors such as video cameras, microphones GPS and audio for continuous content gathering, transmission of data and constant communication with command control. GuardBot’s amphibious and land-based drones can be outfitted to carry a variety of payloads such as audio/visual sensors, fire retardant liquids and ground penetrating radar.

Through cloud-based transmitters, AD’s aerial hardware will be able to deploy and communicate with GuardBot’s ground-based vehicles for a “seamless unmanned system” that works together in solving potential life-threatening issues like fires, theft, vandalism and violent attacks.

“Our new alliance with Aquiline Drones now gives us the ability to program our bots with advanced AI for complicated missions in surveillance, security and detection,” says Peter Muhlrad, president of GuardBot.

“And with AD’s focus on US supply chain manufacturing, this is truly pioneering a new direction for drone technology in the US.”

The companies believe that by collaborating, they will produce a variety of new and powerful capabilities for drone systems, including but not limited to, aquatic military missions, school safety and detection of hazardous chemicals.

Matternet unveils new Matternet Station

Matternet has unveiled the new Matternet Station, which it describes as an "aviation-grade" evolution of its existing autonomous systems.

With the new Matternet Station, flight directors sitting in a remote control center can monitor traffic and operations before takeoff, which allows customers such as hospital systems to fulfill delivery requests in a fraction of the time.

Practically speaking, replacing road couriers with the Station could potentially allow purchasers such as WakeMed to improve patient outcomes.

“[We] … see the benefits for our patients [in] faster and more predictable deliveries,” says WakeMed ENT physician and medical director of innovations Stuart Ginn.

“We look forward to integrating the Station and expanding other parts of the network, including new transport routes that will connect additional facilities within our system.”

Measuring around 10 feet tall, the Station, which provides a dashboard from which flight directors can send and receive packages, is integrated with Matternet’s autonomous M2 drone and Cloud Platform. Equipped with technology that guides Matternet’s M2 Drone to precision landing on the platform, each station comes with its own automated aerial deconfliction system that manages nearby drone routes.

Once the UAS lands, the Station locks it in place and automatically swaps its battery and payload. The UAS is parked in a hangar on top of the Station when it is not in use.

In its standard configuration, the Station holds four payload boxes, which are kept at a controlled temperature. According to Matternet, the station uses an ID badge-scanning system to track payload movement, as well as to allow only authorized personnel to deposit or retrieve a payload.

“Our vision is to connect every healthcare facility in every metropolitan area with the fastest transportation method available today,” says Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos.

“We are building the technology platform for extremely fast, point-to-point, urban medical delivery, enabling hospital systems to shrink patient waiting times and save millions of dollars per year through the centralization of laboratories and medical inventory.”

Union Robotics offering factory training certification program for UAS pilots

Robotics company Union Robotics is now offering a factory training certification program called R.A.F.T (Remote Aircraft Factory Training) to accompany its UAS. According to Union Robotics, the new program is the “most comprehensive training and certification instruction offered by a manufacturer in the industry.”

Through the program, industrial drone pilots will be prepared on how to be compliant with upcoming governmental mandates for UAS operations. The program will also offer skill development with drones created for the energy industry.

“Providing energy-specific experience is key, when looking at training programs for equipping UAV pilots that will work in the energy industry. Union Robotics is committed to developing courses with leading UAV educators, that address the specialized needs of the energy market,” Union Robotics says.

“As a UAV manufacturer focused on energy clients and committed to responsive development, Union Robotics has a distinct advantage over producers that have a wider scope; the programs they build reflect the interests and needs of the energy community.”

The program will be led by Jan R. Timmerman, the pilot expert for Union Robotics. Timmerman has more than 20,000 flight hours as a helicopter pilot, with many of those hours coming within the energy sector. A Certified Flight Instructor, safety manager, and accident investigator, Timmerman is also the director of Safety and Training operations for Union Robotics, and developed R.A.F.T. alongside UAS pilots with energy experience in order to mirror aviation industry standards that are required of pilots on manned aircraft, while also making sure that UAS-specific expertise is applied.

Union Robotics notes that through training courses such as R.A.F.T, UAS operators gain aviation knowledge and expand on their piloting skills. They also receive technical training that gives them a high level understanding of the UAS designed for the energy industry and the ability to perform field repairs.

This component adds two-fold value, according to Union Robotics, as the company explains that “a pilot that understands the hardware will intuitively be able to operate it with more consideration and having an operator that can conduct technical troubleshooting means less time lost in the field.”

The first Remote Aircraft Factory Training course will be held from April 20 to 24. R.A.F.T. graduates will receive Technician Level 1 certification.

Share your vision-related news by contacting Dennis Scimeca, Associate Editor, Vision Systems Design


Voice Your Opinion

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vision Systems Design, create an account today!