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Handheld Apps for Warfighters

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Vecna Technologies Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane Suite 500 Greenbelt, MD -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Handheld Apps for Warfighters
Agency: DOD
Contract: W31P4Q-11-C-0031
Award Amount: $148,999.00


The need for obtaining real-time spatial and environmental awareness has driven the development and subsequent deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). Current UGV operator control units (OCUs) lag behind advances in unmanned vehicle technologies and remain bulky, heavy, unintuitive, and power-hungry. Additionally, these systems are"stovepiped"in that they are developed for only a particular mission and a single robot, significantly restricting flexible use of robots across a variety of missions. Vecna Technologies, Inc. proposes the development of an advanced mobile OCU that leverages the built-in sensors and flexible hardware of hand-held devices such as smartphones running Google's Android platform. Instead of mapping control scheme to unintuitive buttons, control will be multimodal. For example, driving control will utilize the built in accelerometers to enable control similar to that of the Nintendo Wii. Waypoint navigation will use the built in GPS localization and built in camera to designate target locations. Gesture based controls that also use the accelerometers will enable hands-free commands. Vecna's OCU, being primarily software based, will be applicable to a large range of missions through its modular design; if additional capabilities for command modules are needed, the operator can receive updates in the field or add more control modules. Intelligence and context information will be shared not just between operators but with mission planners far from the battlefield, enabling cohesive, shared situational awareness.

Principal Investigator:

Neal Checka
Ai Expert
(617) 864-0636

Business Contact:

Michael Bearman
VP/General Counsel
(240) 965-4500
Small Business Information at Submission:

Vecna Technologies Inc.
6404 Ivy Lane Suite 500 Greenbelt, MD -

EIN/Tax ID: 522152399
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No