Will Future Battlefield Computers be Futuristic?

futureRecently, some clients asked AMREL to build an Operator Control Unit (OCU) for their Unmanned Ground Vehicle.  No surprise there; we dominate that particular application.  What was noteworthy was the specific form factor that they requested.  They wanted it to be a wearable computer, worn on the wrist.

We ran a simple experiment with the clients.  We strapped a small computer to their wrist and had them run some typical UGV commands.  Soon, they discovered that their arms grew tired supporting the computer.  The clients agreed to have their OCU installed in the traditional, if less exotic, form factor of a handheld.

Notice that the wrist-mounted form factor wasn’t discarded for technological reasons. AMREL has become quite adept at developing small, powerful, ATOM-based computer platforms, which would be perfect for wearable solutions. Rather, this innovative approach was discarded, because the wrist form factor proved impractical for this particular use. Read more

FedMil.com’s ROCKY DB6 Video

Watch Ted Ventresca of www.fedmil.com 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.

Free ROCKY DB6 Life Size Cut-Out

See for yourself just how compact the ROCKY DB6 handheld isDB6 DyeCut. Put it in a cargo pocket or hold it in your hand, the ROCKY DB6 handheld is the smallest rugged computer with full Windows/Linux in the world. To get a FREE life size cut-out, just click here.

Batteries, overburdened soldiers, and form factors

National Defense Industrial Association has a highly informative  article,  Army, Marines Face Uphill Battle To Lighten Troops’ Battery Load, about batteries and the heavy load they impose on soldiers. Of the 130 pounds of gear a modern soldier lugs around, 35 may be due to batteries. This excessive weight limits his maneuverability and may even cause injuries.batteries

In addition, batteries are expensive (“An infantry battalion on a one-year deployment typically burns through $150,000 worth of batteries”).  The frequent need to replace them, as well as their complete lack of standardization, presents a logistical nightmare.   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.”