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Surveillance

3D model of Autodesk's corporate headquarters as generated from Octocopter photos stitched...

Take one piece of software that can stitch 2D photos into a 3D model, one camera-carrying UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), and mix well to impress and inspire. This was the recipe used by Autodesk's Director of Strategic Research, Gonzalo Martinez, when he set about modifying an Octo-Copter UAV for use with Autodesk's 123D Catch software to simplify the process of making 3D models of large real-world objects, while also having some fun.  Read More

A General Atomics MQ-9 (aka Predator B, Reaper or Guardian) UAV drone's flight duration co...

Nuclear-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that would increase operational flight durations from days to months are a technological possibility today, according to a feasibility study undertaken last year by Sandia National Laboratories and Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation. A nuclear power supply would additionally double the availability of electrical power to onboard systems, including weaponry, the study found.  Read More

A new video surveillance system is able to search through data on 36 million faces per sec...

Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed a surveillance system that can automatically detect a face in either a provided photo or video footage, then search for that same face in other video provided by networked cameras. While such facial recognition systems have been seen before, this one is able to compare the target face against others at an astounding rate of 36 million faces per second.  Read More

Adafruit has come up with a mash-up of Arduino components to create an internet-enabled mo...

Adafruit's "Internet of Things Camera" is a neat mashup of existing Arduino components into a versatile remote monitoring camera. The key here is in the word remote - a capability that's granted by the inclusion of a first-generation Eye-Fi card, which is an SD card with built in Wi-Fi, that can upload images to your computer or other device, or better yet to a variety of photo-sharing websites such as Flickr.  Read More

The HoverMast is a hovering surveillance machine that can be deployed in 10-15 seconds fro...

The HoverMast is a hovering surveillance machine that can be deployed from a small vehicle such as an armored SUV. The machine, developed by Sky Sapience and currently at the prototype stage, can be deployed to an altitude of up to 50 meters (164 feet) within 10-15 seconds.  Read More

The 710 Warrior can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg)

iRobot, the company behind household helpers, such as the Roomba and Scooba, and military and police robots, such as the PackBot and Negotiator, has released an updated version of its Warrior 700 robot. Like its predecessor, the newly launched 710 Warrior is designed for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), reconnaissance and surveillance missions and can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg) and carry payloads of more than 150 pounds (68 kg) over rough terrain.  Read More

The SCORP Micro Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MUGV) is the first offering from Novatiq

After 15 months of development, privately-owned Swiss company Novatiq is set to enter the robotics market with its first offering, SCORP. Designed for scouting and surveillance applications, SCORP is a Micro Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MUGV) that joins the growing ranks of throwable robots. As such, it is small, rugged and lightweight enough to be carried in a backpack and thrown into buildings or over rough terrain.  Read More

U.S. deploys the Switchblade Kamikaze Drone

The Switchblade is a new form of miniature unmanned aerial system (UAS) which is man-packable and offers a loitering, silent, almost invisible, over-the-horizon aerial presence for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance duties. It also carries a warhead, so if a target of opportunity presents itself, the Switchblade has imaging sensors capable of identifying, tracking and guiding itself right to that person before exploding - with the aim of causing minimal collateral damage. The UAS is currently being readied for initial deployment by U.S.Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Read More

The Rotundus GroundBot spherically-shaped surveillance robot is equipped with a pair of ca...

Remote-controlled unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have proven exceptionally useful in military applications, but according to Swedish company Rotundus, they can be equally well applied to civil security. Rolling through mud, sand, snow, or even floating in the water, the Rotundus GroundBot spherically-shaped robot is equipped with a pair of cameras, providing its remote operator with a live video feed in 3D.  Read More

A Soldier throws a Recon Robotics Recon Scout Throwbot XT robot

Robots are a perfect tool to provide soldiers in the field with “eyes” on a potentially hazardous situation without placing themselves in harm’s way. With soldiers often operating in difficult terrain or entering buildings, the easiest way to get such robots into place is to throw them. Currently, many units use a small tactical robot called the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle 320 that is equipped with video reconnaissance technology. However, this robot weighs 32 pounds (14.5 kg) so the call has been put out for a lighter robot that is more easily transportable by dismounted units on the move and is able to be thrown into forward locations such as buildings and caves. To this end, the U.S. military is set to put three different types of lightweight, “throwable” robots through a series of combat assessments in Afghanistan.  Read More

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