The OCU Pros Report Vol. 27 June 2012

The Future is Now


This month, we look at how one current military programs will determine the characteristics of UGVs for years to come.  Also, how autonomy will make electric cars commercial, funding for novel technology, and of course, flying dead cats. 


See you at the Robot Rodeo!


Featured article: The Future of Military UGVs


The only fully funded military UGV program today is Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robot System (AEODRS).  There is a very real possibility that it will shape the future of all UGVs in the military.  If you intend to work on a UGV for the Department of Defense in the next 10 years, you should familiarize yourself with AEODRS.


Full article here




Autonomy & Electric Cars


Despite the hype, electric cars are a commercial failure.  Consumers do not buy them, because they are unsuited for the few long outings they make (the majority of most people’s trips are short).  However, autonomy may tip the scales for electric cars.  Autonomously-driven cars have the economic benefit of increased utilization over manned-operated vehicles (i.e. visiting a friend when you’re just too tired to drive).  Autonomous electric taxis would be much cheaper than manned taxis, which are rare in most urban and rural areas.  “How the Electric, Self-Driving Miracle Car Will Change Your Life” is a well-thought out article about what may become the most important domestic UGV application.


Full article here



Innovation and funding


Technological innovations may be funded by the government at the research level, and by business when they are commercialized. 

“Innovation and Robotics: The Uncanny Valley of Death” points out that between the lab and the factory floor, novel ideas often die because of lack of capital.  “Unfortunately, the only way to develop robots that are functional and cost effective is to keep developing  ones that aren’t, which government, academia, and industry are rarely willing to fund.”


Full article here




You can’t keep a dead cat down. Literally.


OCU Pros is dedicated to reporting important information about the world of unmanned systems. We also are committed to telling you about the stupid stuff, and few things are stupider than Orville, the Unmanned Feline Quadrocopter. As you may recall from OCU Pros March’s issue, this synthesis of a dead cat and UAV proved aerodynamically disastrous.  The artist behind this effort has worked out a few kinks, and the deceased feline actually manages to fly a bit as well grab mainstream media attention.


Orvillecopter Final Test (Video)


Cats away! Artist turns his dead pet into flying helicopter after it is killed by a car (Picture Gallery & Article)


Steven Colbert likes it (Video)





AMREL’s superlight

handheld, the ROCKY DB6 will be used as a payload controller & OCU to display autonomous functions. Look for us at the MacroUSA demonstration at the JIEDO challenge. Read about it here.


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AMREL designs and manufactures small-footprint, highly integrated, rugged mobile computing solutions for OCUs. Our modular single solution approach minimizes peripheral devices, the total cost, as well as space and weight requirements. Quickly and easily modified, a single OCU can command and control a wide array of Unmanned Systems.



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