A West Australian company is set to collaborate with an innovative US firm to develop tech to enable drones to autonomously take off and land on AI-controlled vehicles, Charbel Kadib.
Homegrown Strategic Elements subsidiary Stealth Technologies will work on the project with Planck Aerosystems, which is expected to leverage its vision-based precision technology, capable of landing drones on moving platforms without GPS.
This would support the development of Stealth technologies’ Autonomous Security Vehicle (ASV) for perimeter security in sectors such as transport, energy, defence, government and utilities.
The Stealth and Planck collaboration aims to enable the long runtimes of the ASV to be combined with the high speed of drones.
This would allow the drones to be launched from the ASV at any time while on patrol, which according to Stealth Technologies could double the ASV’s surveillance coverage capabilities.
The collaboration also aims to allow drones to recharge once landed on the ASV before being relaunched.
According to Stealth Technologies, the perspectives of both the ASV and its drone can be combined to give an expanded patrol and surveillance dataset, enabling more AI use cases for mapping, navigation, object and person recognition, object and person tracking, and scene reasoning.
Stealth and Planck have also committed to assessing the potential of integrating mobile tethered drones with the ASV.
This is expected to give additional deployment options for drone-equipped ASVs to work at facilities located near to controlled airspaces and at those that have safety requirements, which normally preclude drone operation.
The project will specifically involve:
- Planck will provide autonomous control engine (ACE) technology for integration into Stealth autonomous vehicles, and any other technologies agreed by the parties;
- The parties will explore commercial, industrial and defence applications and opportunities;
- Planck will provide Stealth a royalty-free, non-exclusive, licence to use software for the purposes of the collaboration for duration of the term; and
- Stealth will pay for any hardware provided under the project, with any further payments to be agreed between the parties on a case-by-case basis.