Just back from the 2011 AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America symposium in Washington, DC – the largest exhibition for unmanned systems in North America. All the big boys were there with their toys – iRobot had its packbot going up and down aisles to the amusement – and amazement – of the attendees. Got a chance to toss one of QinetiQ’s cool little spybots onto a fake rooftop, and then use a joystick to remotely zoom it around looking for suspicious items. Very cool.
Boeing’s A160T Hummingbird UAV got lots of attention; overheard conversation passing by the exhibit of the 42-ft unmanned helicopter, “Kinda defeats the idea of an UAV, doesn’t it?” Unmanned systems do seem to be experiencing a growth spurt in both directions…getting smaller and much bigger at the same time. Unmanned ground vehicles included SUVs that drive themselves – just the kind of application that KVH’s fiber optic gyro-based IMU and INS systems are meant for. The heightened enthusiasm about the future for unmanned systems of all kinds was tangible at AUVSI. This uptick in confidence is based on continuing breakthroughs in unmanned technology, as well as the growing support being shown to the unmanned industry by the U.S. military and governments worldwide. Perfect timing for KVH’s DSP-1750, the world’s smallest precision FOG. Our sales team was kept busy answering questions and providing information about how this 1.7″ diameter precision gyro offers high performance at low cost.