Greg Galitzine : Robotics
Greg Galitzine

March 2010

You are browsing the archive for March 2010.

Evolution Robotics Gathers Mint Marketing Team

March 17, 2010

Pasadena, CA-based Evolution Robotics, Inc., makers of the Mint robotic floor cleaner, announced the addition of a new team of former top executives from Dirt Devil to help bring the device to market.  The new sales and marketing team consists of Mike Merriman, former President and CEO of Royal Appliance Mfg. Co., the former publicly held parent company of Dirt Devil, Inc., who recently joined the company's board of directors, and fellow former Royal executives, Rick Farone and David Brickner, who specialize in bringing new products to the consumer market. Mint is scheduled to be available through direct channels in Q3 2010 and retail outlets in Q4 2010 at a price of under $250. 

BattleBots Documentary: Support a Robotics Filmmaker

March 17, 2010

I recently received a note from Joey Daoud, a documentary film maker who's working on a project focusing on high school BattleBots. He's been following multiple high school robotics teams in South Florida for his project "Bots High" since last August, and he's looking to raise some funding to deploy a multiple camera crew to film the upcoming National Championship.   If you're interested in more information regarding pledging support, check out the project's fundraising site and what "goodies" you might qualify the varying levels of donation. You might even see your name in lights as an associate producer if you pledge enough funds.   Or you can get yourself a copy of the DVD (upon project completion) signed by the director.   In any event, I urge you to check it out and judge for yourself.

Kratos Lands Task Order to Support UAV Predator/Reaper Acquisition

March 17, 2010

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, announced the receipt of a task award to its Huntsville, Alabama-based Madison Research Division for work related to the acquisition of the Predator and Raptor unmanned aerial vehicles. The value of award is in excess of $1.8 million.   Under this award, Kratos will provide management, support and subject matter expertise in support of the 303 AESW, Reconnaissance Systems Wing.   Earlier this week Kratos announced a nearly $5 million award to provide a low-cost solution to support the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).   According to a release announcing the award, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division White Sands Detachment (NSWC PHD Det WS) has a requirement to engineer, integrate and flight test a family of sub-orbital rockets to be used as diagnostic, tracking and target vehicles. Kratos will evaluate the suitability of combining a surplus Pedro rocket with the Oriole rocket as well as assess other alternative rocket systems, and support up to four launches of these rocket systems.

Boeing's Phantom Eye Propulsion System Passes Key Testing Phase

March 8, 2010

Phantom Eye is not the next installment in the James Bond movie franchise. But that doesn't mean it's any less exciting.   It's Boeing's first unmanned, liquid-hydrogen powered, high altitude long endurance (HALE) aircraft, which will feature a 150-foot wingspan and be capable of flying for more than four days at altitudes up to 65,000 feet while carrying a payload of up to 450 pounds.   "The essence of Phantom Eye is its propulsion system," said Darryl Davis, Boeing Phantom Works president. "After five years of technology development, we are now deploying rapid prototyping to bring together an unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] with a breakthrough liquid-hydrogen propulsion system that will be ready to fly early next year."   The propulsion system (engine, turbo chargers and engine control system) successfully completed an 80-hour test in an altitude chamber on March 1, clearing the way for further development of the project.   Phantom Eye is designed to carry out missions such as intelligence gathering, reconnaissance, surveillance and communication.   Boeing also is developing a larger HALE that will stay aloft for more than 10 days and carry payloads of more than 2,000 pounds, as well as building "Phantom Ray," a fighter-sized UAV that will be a flying test bed for advanced technologies.   "We believe Phantom Eye and Phantom Ray represent two areas where the unmanned aerial vehicle market is heading, and rapid prototyping is the key to getting us there," said Dave Koopersmith, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft vice president.   Phantom Ray evolved from the X-45C program. It is scheduled to make its first flight in December.  

KaZaK to Supply Technology for Boeing UAV Weapons Project

March 8, 2010

Woburn, MA-based KaZaK Composites, Inc., a provider of high value-added composite engineering and design, announced that they are a key supplier to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems for the first phase of a program to demonstrate miniature weapon technology for use on unmanned airborne vehicles (UAV).   KaZaK will provide the airframe for the UAVs, which will provide the housing for electrical and other components within the weapon. Boeing will use its experience on the Joint Direct Attack Munition and Small Diameter Bomb programs to develop the system integration, seeker, avionics, guidance and control, and mission planning systems.   By working with Boeing KaZaK expands upon our relationships with the primes, which now includes most major defense contractors," said John Schickling, EVP/COO of KaZaK Composites, Inc. "Inclusion in this exciting contract continues to demonstrate KaZaK's talent and experience in producing advanced, creative engineering to any number of projects across a wide range of aerospace applications."        

Northrop Global Hawk Makes Historic Flight

March 8, 2010

 Northrop Grumman  achieved yet another milestone when its RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) completed a four-hour, round-trip mission, taking off from its Palmdale, CA-based manufacturing facility, reaching cruising altitudes of over 58,000 feet, and safely returning to land at the facility.   According to George Guerra, Northrop Grumman vice president of High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) systems, "This was the first time ever that the same Global Hawk has taken off and landed in a single mission from Palmdale, heralding a new era of flights in and out of the facility."   This mission marked the eighth consecutive production Global Hawk to complete its operational check flight on the first attempt.   The Global Hawk is fast becoming a prized unmanned system. The platform was recently used in the wake of the earthquakes in Haiti, where it provided over 3,600 images of affected areas.   According to Steve Amburgey, Global Hawk program director for the 303d Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, "Logging more than 30,000 combat hours since its first deployment nine years ago, Global Hawk is a highly sought after intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system in theater."  

BOURBON and Schilling Hail New ROVs

March 8, 2010

 Bourbon Subsea Services and Schilling Robotics have announced a new generation of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) designed for submarine Inspection, Maintenance and Repair of offshore fields.   The HD ROV is well suited both for precision work and for handling loads up to 3000 kilos in waters ranging up to 3000 meters in depth.   Due to the robot's small size, its launch system and tools are easily transportable. They can be quickly sent to the scene of operations as necessitated by the situation. By taking delivery of two, Bourbon Subsea Services plans to take delivery of two additional HD ROVs in the latter half of the year, thus expanding the range of services in its fleet. These newly acquired vehicles will serve as a complement to the existing UHD ROV's (pictured) at Bourbon's disposal.

i.v.Station Outduels RIVA Sterile Compounding Robot

March 8, 2010

TMCnet's Susan Campbell reported last week that Health Robotics' i.v.Station won out in head-to-head tests against RIVA.   The contest comprised the public evaluation of video speed tests between i.v.STATION and RIVA sterile compounding robots, based on each company's public video testimonials at their respective Web sites of an identical powder reconstitution (80ml) and size/dose of syringe (10cc).   According to the report, the i.v.STATION proved to be 3.8 times faster than RIVA, and when considering the RIVA's higher price, i.v.STATION's per-dose price clocks in at an impressive 20 times less by comparison.   The i.v.Station is a centrally-controlled, modular distributed flexible redundant patient-specific intra-venous automation robot for non-hazardous drug preparation, compounding, and dispensing in central pharmacy locations, satellite pharmacies, and even patient care workplaces.   Werner Rainer, Health Robotics' CEO was pleased with the results, although he admitted there was still some room for improvement. A satisfied Rainer was quoted as saying, "I'm happy with i.v.STATION's throughput results in Europe and now in America, especially considering RIVA's 15+ year head-start."