Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2015-10-06: Autonomy Incubator Welcomes Small Businesses

On October 6th, the Autonomy Incubator welcomed a group of small businesses from southern Virginia. The tour was hosted by the Office of Small Business Programs, which provides small businesses an opportunity to participate in NASA contracts in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research.

Representatives from small businesses arrives at the Autonomy Incubator.

The Autonomy Incubator team presented the usual demonstrations, as we highlighted the various applications of autonomous technology. After Ben Kelley showcased our work with UAV obstacle avoidance, which is integral to unmanned package delivery, Jim Neilan discussed his research on data-deprived localization, and the importance it holds to safe navigation on Earth and planetary exploration on Mars. These demonstrations were particularly applicable to the representatives from businesses that are (like us!) involved with autonomy and robotics.

Ben Kelley demonstrates autonomous UAV obstacle avoidance. In the above image,
he mimics a pedestrian on a cell phone. Without any action on his part, the UAV
detects him as an obstacle and maintains a safe distance.

Jim Neilan describes the application of autonomous
capabilities to aircraft headed for Mars. 

It was a pleasure to provide a tour for these local small businesses, and we look forward to future interaction. Thank you for visiting the Autonomy Incubator!

Shielded by a protective barrier, Kyle McQuarry sets up the program that launches the UAVs in flight.

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