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Robots shrink as their budgets grow

Recently, this blog analyzed Defense budgets for unmanned systems (Robots good. People bad).  We took the relatively uncontroversial position that whether or not the Defense budget itself grows, the funding for unmanned systems will increase. ABI Research seems to support our conclusion in a new report that states,”…the global market for military robotics will grow […]

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What’s the difference between AMREL’s medical and military computers?

They’re built to different standards. AMREL’s ROCKY computers meet military standards for ruggedness, whereas our medical computers meet IEC 60601-1 standard for medical electrical equipment. This has led to some hardware differences. ROCKY’s military computers are shielded to meet MIL-STD 461E for electromagnetic interference. To meet EMC (as well as safety) requirements, the medical versions […]

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Beyond the tweak: End-user communication solutions

Many people regard “end-user input” as something that happens at the end of a development process. However, the role of social media in the recent unrest in Middle East reminds us that end-users can be used for more than just “tweaking” solutions prepared by professionals.  Faced with government cut-off of networking services, organizers are finding […]

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Does This Robotic Form Factor Make Me Look Fat?

The form factors of unmanned systems vary wildly, from the behemoth 512 kg General Atomics MQ-1 Predator to the tiny IAI’s Mosquito micro UAV, which barely weighs 500 grams. Critical subsystems, such as Operator Control Units (OCU) also differ in shape, and size. Just as missions dictate whether an unmanned system has wings, tractors or […]

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Afghan Mission Network: The Human Factor

One of General Stanley McChrystal’s accomplishments as coalition commander in Afghanistan was the genesis of the Afghan Mission Network (AMN),a meshing of the communication links and data feeds used by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  The numbers are daunting. 50,000 users from 40 countries of the ISF use something like 30 separate networks, including United […]


Multinational Tactical Communications

One of the big challenges facing the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan is that radio systems from different countries don’t communicate with each another. Coordinating disparate radio systems in joint international operations will be a major focus of the Tactical Communications Conference, which will take place in April in London. Defense IQ.com has […]

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Does your rugged computer need legacy Wi-Fi?

Some computer manufacturers are eliminating IEEE 802.11b protocols, claiming that it will improve 802.11g.  Since 802.11n is the fastest WLAN standard, why have any legacy Wi-Fi at all? You need a, b, and g, because not all hot spots are running n. For example, if you’re operating an MQ-1 Predator by a wireless control system, […]

Rugged computers on the flight line

Long-lasting battery power, light weight, and good wireless connectivity are capabilities often demanded by forward-placed warfighters for their rugged computers. GCN’s (Government Computer News)  “Rugged Computing on the Aircraft Flight Line”  describes how these features are also critical for the maintenance of jets, an activity not usually associated with the front-lines. GCN does a good […]

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Custom Rugged Computer Quiz

At AMREL, we see a lot of other people’s mistakes. Clients frequently come in with tales of woe, asking us to clean up messes made by them or their previous customization company. Some errors are specific to the customization process; others are true for rugged computers in general. Of course, we’re happy for the business, […]

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UCAVs vs. 5th Generation Jet Fighters

AMREL computers serve as Operator Control Units for many unmanned vehicles, so I pay close attention to that application.  Recently an article on Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) caught my interest.  In a posting titled “UCAVs: The Future of Air Warfare,” a self-described Muslim think tank argues that Pakistan can counter the perceived threat of […]

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Do you need a Solid State Drive (SSD) for your rugged computer?

For this question, we can give you an absolute, definitive answer: maybe. If you are among the rarified few who have no problems with budgetary constraints, this is a no-brainer; SSDs are clearly superior.  Fewer moving parts, greater high-temperature endurance, lower power consumption, and just general all around superior ruggedness are a few of their […]

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Peter Singer talks about the future of robotic warfare

We found a very interesting video from TED.com on the future of robotic warfare and we thought you might enjoy it! How are robots changing war? Peter Singer talks about how robots are changing how we fight wars and how robots will change the way we fight war in the future. How does using robots […]

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Ruggedpcreview.com reviews AMREL rugged computers

Check out the great Rugged PC Reviews of AMREL’s rugged RF8, RK8, RT8 notebooks and our DK8 & DR8 tablets!