Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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17 unmanned systems inside April/May 2017 June/July 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. While some of these capabilities are al- ready taking shape, manufacturers and researchers are looking for more ways to incorporate UGVs of all sizes into various operations. Like unmanned aerial sys- tems (UAS), these vehicles can handle dangerous jobs so people don't have to, while also saving the com- panies who use them time and money. UGVs can make opera- tions more efficient, address growing labor shortages and even cut down on vehi- cle repair and maintenance costs—making them an attractive option for a variety of businesses, said Mel Torrie, pres- ident and CEO of Autonomous Solutions. "These vehicles are going to transform some of the industries we work in," said Kevin Forestell of Dozr, a company that connects equipment renters with lend- ers. "It's happening already, and I see a lot more advances coming in the relatively short future." Mining UGVs are already playing a significant role in the mining industry. Miners in Africa, for example, are trained on the Mobius sof t ware from Autonomous Solutions and are using truck f leets to haul large amounts of coal from point A to point B, Torrie said. "These mines are using robotic bull doz- ers, robotic drills, robotic shovels—basi- cally we're working on all of the equip- ment used in a mine," he said. "We're working with the largest mining compa- nies in the world. Our software controls and coordinates all of the types of equip- ment working together to optimize the f low of gold or coal out of a mine. We bring artificial intelligence learning ad- vantages to coordinate all of the equipment." UGVs also can be used to map a mine site to support search and rescue mis- sions, said ARGO Robotics Program Director Jason Scheib. If there's a cave- in, a UGV can quickly survey the area to determine if it's safe to send in rescuers. It also can communicate with the victim, deliver supplies and even retrieve people. After a blast is completed underground, workers usually need to wait a certain amount of time to let it ventilate before they can enter, said Peter Visscher, ARGO chief technology officer. UGVs don't have to wait. They can go in and start taking scans right away—saving time without putting workers at risk. UGVs also can be used to make mines more profitable, said Ilia Baranov, engi- neering manager for research solutions at Clearpath Robotics. Clearpath manufac- tures industrial unmanned vehicles for warehouses and develops platforms that researchers use for testing and teaching. "The profitability of a mining site is deter- mined by the wall angle and the depth," he said. "So if you can worry about human safe- The ARGO J8 being used in an underground commercial mining operation for 3D mapping. Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) certainly seem to have a lot of potential. They can be used to spray pesticides on a large farm to boost crop yields, for example, or to move materials at a mining site. You might see a UGV patrolling a facility late at night, or handling snow removal on roadways during the winter months. "EVERY VEHICLE IS RUNNING AT THE PERFECT SPEED, AND THAT WILL MAXIMIZE THE EQUIPMENT'S LIFE SPAN." Mel Torrie, president and CEO of Autonomous Solutions The value of the market for unmanned ground vehicles including defense in U.S. dollars. Source: Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Market by Application, by Markets and Markets, February 2017 BY THE NUMBERS $1.49 billion billion $2.63 ¢ 12.14 % CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) 2016 2021

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