AMREL Ubiquitous at AUVSI 2011


The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International recently held its annual North America show, and AMREL was
Robotics System Joint Project Office (RSJPO)  there!  In addition to our booth showing off AMREL’s new interoperable payload controller, AMREL’s OCU solutions were displayed by a multitude of vendors, including: Read more

Unmanned Commercial Domestic Flights: Expert vs. Expert

Airplane1 resized 600One of the hottest topics in the unmanned systems community is civilian applications. As reports in Drones Ready for Takeoff:

“The potential seems limitless—handling routine monitoring of pipelines and power lines, for instance, or gathering geomagnetic data about natural resources (a job that entails flying hundreds of miles in a straight line, at low altitude, then moving 50 yards over and flying straight back). Drones could help farmers monitor crops in distant fields, allow real estate developers to perform simple construction jobs in remote or difficult locations or enable environmentalists to spot polluters.”

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My laptop isn’t as bright as I want it to be. What can I do?

Let’s assume that you already maxed out the brightness controls.  Did you check the power management?  If you’re running the laptop on batteries, it will often default to power savings mode, which will dim the screen. Also, crank up the contrast ratio to 5 to 1 or even higher.  Does your computer think it’s dark out? Verify the dimming range is adjusted for the daytime, not the night.  Adjust the viewing angle of the display screen. It sounds trivial, but the angle can make a big difference in how the screen is viewed.’s ROCKY DB6 Video

Watch Ted Ventresca of interview Ron McMahan, VP Engineering Solutions at AMREL, about the ROCKY DB6, the world’s smallest rugged handheld that runs Windows 7/Linux.

Battlefield Connectivity for Dismounted Forces-Free Whitepaper

This short whitepaper discusses the problems facing front-line computing, including: data explosion, form factor, power, ruggedness, reliability, and interoperability. We review several approaches to overcoming these challenges, the potential of smartphones, and look at some of the Atom-based rugged computers currently on the market. To download this free whitepaper, click here.


See AMREL’s new interoperable Payload Controller Paylaod Controller, handheld OCU, as well as the the Rocky DB6, the world’s smallest rugged computer with full Windows 7/Linux. Stop by AMREL’s booth #3030, and get a good look at our line of fully rugged computers as wll as our suite of interoperable solutions.

Optimal Screen Size For Mobile Devices Used By Warfighters

What is the optimal screen size for a mobile device used by a warfighter?  Is it the 7″ to 12″ display of the tablet?  The 3″ to 5″ of the smartphone?  Something in-between?

With the exception of security issues, the folks at the Pentagon and other real-echelon postings do not work in situations that much different than their civilian counterparts.   For its stateside personnel, the Army can probably fulfill its ambitious smartphone program with whatever Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) products it chooses.

However, warfighters operate in much more demanding environment. Small differences can have huge consequences. Read more

Clichés about unmanned systems that I can do without

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of certain clichés about unmanned systems and combat.  It’s just my opinion, but some commonly repeated statements confuse, rather than clarify.  Here are a couple of my “favorites.”

“The use of unmanned systems in combat will destroy the warrior ethos.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this.  “They’re cowards, these so-called ‘soldiers’ who strike from afar. A real man confronts his enemy face-to-face. These new weapons should be banned.”

Of course, this quote is from a French nobleman talking the English archers and their long bows.  The whole argument about the unmanliness of “death from afar” probably started the first time someone threw a rock. This line of reasoning ignores the fact that war isn’t about building soldierly virtues; it’s about winning (or to paraphrase Patton, “Making the other guy die for his country”). Read more