Accelerated robotics development focus of industry/academia effort


Ft. Myers, FL — A robotics technology firm and a university will collaborate to accelerate development and use of unmanned robotic vehicles in a variety of applications. Innova Holdings Inc. , a robotics technology firm, and the college of engineering at the University of South Florida at Tampa have agreed to jointly undertake research and development projects in unmanned ground and aerial robotics, RF, infrared, and wireless controls, and in open-architecture PC systems.

“This alliance gives us the opportunity to implement and test our autonomous navigation systems, sensor-based controllers, stereo vision, and hardware and software interfaces on their [Innova] robot platforms,” said Prof. Kimon Valavanis, Ph. D., head of the Unmanned Vehicle Systems Research Group at the college. The group researches and develops new methods and technologies related to autonomous navigation, reconnaissance, surveillance, patrolling, and the like using heterogeneous assets of unmanned vehicles.

The agreement will leverage Innova’s expertise in unmanned systems, evidenced by its work with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for control systems for robotic mechanisms; its role in implementing the recently announced Microsoft Robotics Studio, a Windows-based robotic application development environment; and its contributions to the U.S. government-sponsored Joint Architecture for Unmanned Ground Systems (JAUS) standards committee.

Said Walter K. Weisel, chairman and CEO of Innova Holdings, “This ad hoc consortium will no doubt be at the forefront of development and deployment of unmanned robotic vehicles that will save lives, increase security, and drive industry toward viable applications we can only imagine at this point.”

For more on the Microsoft Robotics Studio, announced at the RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition 2006 in Pittsburgh late last month, click here .

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Jeanine Katzel , senior editor

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