Strategic Elements’ (ASX: SOR) investee has begun development of sensor fusion technology for integration into its next generation autonomous robotic security vehicles.
Investee Stealth Technologies is advancing the sensor fusion technology which makes autonomous vehicles more intuitive and responsive to their environments.
Strategic described the technology as making robots more “human like” in the way surroundings can be perceived.
“The sensor fusion stack is designed to equip autonomic security vehicles with more advanced sensory capabilities than human security guards, significantly enhancing the [vehicle’s] patrol and surveillance functionality,” the company added.
Strategic also noted the sensor fusion technology was a “key enabler” in the road map to autonomous security vehicles achieving advanced AI capabilities.
Live trials of the new generation autonomous security vehicles are scheduled to begin before the end of June.
Strategic managing director Charles Murphy said there had been a “significant” amount of work taken to plan and design the next generation autonomous security vehicles.
“In our view, the sensor fusion stack is just the start of showing how we can add advanced intelligence into our mobile robotics platform,” he added.
Integrated sensors and other technologies
The sensor fusion stack will also be integrated into the collaborative work with Planck AeroSystems, which enables autonomous drones to launch and land from a moving autonomic security vehicle.
Another technology to be worked in with sensor fusion is the CSIRO’s Wildcat SLAM, which enables robots to work together as teams.
Wildcat is a “robot perception” technology that enables the robot to perceive, comprehend and reason about the surrounding environment.
Within the autonomic security vehicle, the sensor fusion stack will comprise additional sensors such as LiDAR, radar, GPS, sonar, thermal imaging and different types of cameras. Each camera will add a different strength to the fusion data.
The complex assortment of sensors and real-time software enables local processing of raw sensor data.
Essentially, the technology works by combining the data in real-time to create an accurate picture of the environment.
This can then be used for higher level tasks that allow the vehicle to understand, plan, and interact autonomously with the environment. It can not just detect humans, but interpret why they may be there and what they are doing – essentially environmental information driving the robot’s behaviour.
Autonomous perimeter security testing
Under a deal last year, investee Stealth is collaborating with US Fortune 100 technology company Honeywell on building autonomous security vehicles for the correctional justice sector.
As part of this, the companies are working with Western Australia’s Department of Justice on developing a fully autonomous security vehicle for the Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison in Kalgoorlie.
An autonomous security vehicle is currently being tested at the Kalgoorlie prison with testing due for completion by the end of the current quarter.
The robot’s role is to test and confirm the integrity of the prison’s perimeter 365 days a year and 24-hours a day.
Strategic claims the updated autonomous security vehicles with sensor fusion stack technology will be assessed for use in the correctional justice sector.
Stealth can also independently market the technology into other sectors including transport, mining, energy, defence, government and utilities.
As such, Stealth has begun discussions with potential early adopters working in non-correctional sectors such as mining and transport.