ROCKY DB6-Smallest, Fully Rugged, Handheld with Windows 7/Linux

Los Angeles, CA (April 28, 2011) American Reliance, Inc. (AMREL) announced the launch of the ROCKY DB6 — the smallest, fully rugged handheld that can support standard Windows 7 and Linux Operating Systems (OS). Certified by independent parties to meet military standards for ruggedness, this compact handheld weighs less than two pounds.DB6 Angle resized 600

“The military is pushing the envelope of connectivity out to the front lines,” explains Ron McMahan, AMREL’s VP of Sales. “They want ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Recognizance) data in the hands of the warfighter. This has created a need for a computer that can transmit large encrypted files in real time, operate in harsh combat conditions, and is small enough to fit into a cargo pants pocket. The DB6 is that computer.”

The key to the DB6 is the Intel® Atom™ Processor. More powerful than typical PDA processors, it consumes very little energy.  Consequently, the lightweight DB6 can run the same OS and applications as a laptop, but with significantly longer battery life.  This reduces logistical burdens in the battlefield and eliminates the need to modify standard programming for mobile devices. Read more

Are nits the only important rating for hi-bright display?

No.  Life is not simple and neither is buying a bright monitor. Manynits  factors besides nits can interfere with the visibility of a screen. Computer displays are usually protected by see-through shielding material (glass or plastic) on top of their displays.  How this shielding is bonded to the underlying surface can have a huge effect on the amount of glare (reflection) that is created. Anti-reflective coating on the shielding material can also affect the overall illumination. Even the mounting of the internal components of the computer can affect the brightness. So, it is theoretically possible that a display with a high nit rating will be dimmer than one that has a lower rating.  To be sure you get what you want, consult your computer professional.

What is “MIL-STD 810”?

The primary purpose of MIL-STD 810 is for “…generating  confidence in the environmental worthiness and overall durability of materiel system design”(U.S. Army Developmental Test Command (DTC)). This standard establishes specifications and testing procedures for resistance to rain, shock, vibration, dust, humidity, salt fog, and extreme temperatures. 810

Some think of 810 as “the” rugged standard, which of course, is not true. Many other standards come into play, such as MIL-STD 461 for electromagnetic emissions or the Navy’s MIL-S-901D for equipment mounted on US ships.

MIL-STD 810 is sufficiently complex and multivariable, that it may be more appropriate to think of it as a set of environmental standards, rather than a single specification. This is especially true when evaluating compliance. It is quite common for commercial companies to claim that their product “meets” MIL-STD 810, when actually it only meets a small fraction of the specifications. Read more

OSHA & Rugged Computers

describe the imageRichard Lane, AMREL’s VP of Strategic Business Development, penned an interesting article about his rugged computing needs as an environmental scientist when he inspected on-shore /offshore oil production facilities.  In the July 2010 issue of Occupational Health & Safety, Richard writes, “Ironically, we probably spent more money on metal clipboards, waterproof paper, copies, and redundant data entry than I spent last week on a new netbook.” Check out Strategic Value for the Health & Safety Industry.”

Autonomy, Situational Awareness, and the User Interface — Part 2

autonomy 2Part 1 of this series speculated that, contrary to widespread expectations,increased autonomy would make the operation of unmanned systems more difficult, not less. Part 2 explores this hypothesis with David Bruemmer, a well-known authority on autonomy. To read this interview, click here.

Autonomy, Situational Awareness, and the User Interface — Part 1

The US Army has announced plans to increase the autonomy of itsdescribe the image  Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). “We are moving along that spectrum from tele-operating to semiautonomy where you can send a robot from point A to point B without any intervention,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. David Thompson, project manager with the Robotic Systems Joint Program Office (Army building smarter robots). To read the rest of the article, please click here.