Handheld Apps for Warfighters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-11-C-0031
Agency Tracking Number: 10SB2-0196
Amount: $148,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: SB102-002
Solicitation Number: 2010.2
Small Business Information
6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 500, Greenbelt, MD, -
DUNS: 094078958
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Neal Checka
 Ai Expert
 (617) 864-0636
Business Contact
 Michael Bearman
Title: VP/General Counsel
Phone: (240) 965-4500
Email: mbearman@vecna.com
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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