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Cloud Ground Control enables remote monitoring and control of unlimited uncrewed systems with new cellular micro-modem
By Cloud Ground Control
As enterprise users scale up their drone and robotic fleet operations, many are relying on different types of uncrewed vehicles for diverse tasks. These may include vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles, quadcopters, surface vehicles, fixed-wing drones and ground rovers, all of which may be used for completing long-range missions or up-close inspections. There is also an expectation for access to real-time vehicle data.
Despite the many possibilities for robotic fleet operations, managing multi-drone, multi-vehicle missions can be complicated – and that’s holding many industries back. Cloud Ground Control (CGC), powered by Advanced Navigation has developed a solution to change that. CGConnect is a cellular micro-modem using 4G and 5G networks to link unlimited robotic vehicles to the CGC drone fleet management platform enabling live streaming command and control from a web browser.
Michal Weiss, Head of Product – Cloud Ground Control, sums up the technology. “CGConnect simplifies fleet management by turning a myriad of vehicles and drones into a connected autonomous fleet, making it easier for users to manage and control them simultaneously with access to real-time vehicle data. By doing so, we’re facilitating the connectivity between the end user through to the browser and the vehicles themselves, providing full situational awareness,
“What distinguishes CGC is its hardware-agnostic approach. The platform eliminates the constraints imposed by manufacturer-specific software, offering an open environment for enterprises to explore new possibilities in managing diverse autonomous vehicles within their fleet.”
Easy Access From Any Location
No matter the type of data users are collecting or which platforms they are deploying, all the data is stored in one central location and is easily accessible to authorized users, Weiss said. “Users don’t have to install anything on their device to use the platform.”
Having access to data from both aerial and ground-based uncrewed vehicles can be critical for disaster relief.
For example, drones can be deployed to quickly assess the extent of damage in disaster-affected areas. They can capture high-resolution imagery or conduct aerial surveys to identify collapsed structures, road blockages, or hazardous conditions. While ground rovers can work to conduct ground-level assessments, providing detailed information on structural integrity, accessibility, or potential dangers.
Weiss demonstrated the technology during a keynote at ICRA, a robotics conference in London, United Kingdom as her team based in Perth, Australia ran a mission with multiple drones and robotic vehicles. The mission routes and camera feeds streamed in real-time on Weiss’ web browser in London.
Weiss illustrated how simple it was to remotely request command and control of the robotic vehicles based in Perth, as audience members drove the rovers in from London. Another connected drone joined her on stage, allowing the audience to see the near real-time latency for themselves.
“That just shows how advanced this technology is,” Weiss said, “and how many use cases it can open up.”
Revolutionary Cloud Technology
Through CGConnect, remote users have instant access to CGC’s rich features, such as real-time telemetry, cloud storage, video and payload data – all available simultaneously through a web browser. The device, which weighs 55 grams and is approximately the size of a credit card can easily be integrated into any drone or robotic vehicle, regardless of its brand or manufacturer. The technology further expands the vehicles functionality and applications while also shortening development time. This flexible, customizable solution simplifies fleet management and unlocks access to new markets.
CGC runs AI algorithms in the cloud, relaying real-time camera feed data to the end user to support versatile missions, such as object detection, tracking and thermal imaging. This capability enables prompt awareness and response to potential risks as the system reviews the video and triggers alerts.
The ability to easily integrate the algorithm outputs with the live video feed enhances situational awareness and mitigates risks in a timely manner. For example, Surf Life Saving Queensland uses the technology for shark detection along its beaches. Pilots are able to focus on flying and let the AI model do the inspecting. Once a shark is sighted the system will alert command centers immediately.
“Of course, what the open platform offers is broader than just AI,” Weiss said.
“Designed as an open ecosystem, customers can tailor it to their precise requirements. By providing open APIs for both the front end and back end, we invite developers to build applications on top of our platform, enabling seamless integration and customization,”
“Users also can create an interface from the company’s APIs or enhance what’s already there. This flexibility allows customers to adapt the platform to their specific use cases.”
The CGC platform can be used across various industries deploying robotic fleets, including security, construction, asset inspection, agriculture, environmental and emergency response. It enables any type of use case across air, land and sea that involves a robotic or autonomous vehicle.
Since launch, the platform has experienced a significant uptake in users, with customers deploying vehicles and performing their own specific applications, Weiss said. This includes Surf Life Saving Queensland, which uses the CGC platform during beach patrols to view real-time, first-person footage through a web browser, enhancing situational awareness for better decision making during search and rescue operations.
On land, drones carrying thermal sensors can look for signs of life, or inspect areas for hazards all before a risk assessment is even complete. The applications for CGConnect are endless – not only improving communication and coordination across operations, but also removing users and first responders from life threatening situations.
“Think about a scenario where you have a flood and you send in a swarm of drones to identify people in distress and then immediately autonomous boats are sent to their rescue,” Weiss said. “Rescuers are getting notifications as to where these people are and immediately they have access to help. That is the level of support the system can provide.”
Keeping data secure
Of course, it’s critical to ensure the data collected across these fleets remains secure.
“We’re aware the information we’re dealing with is incredibly sensitive, so we’re treating it with the highest priority,” Weiss said “This means not only is the information end-to-end encrypted, but also every feature we develop adheres to military-grade security standards
“Users can set the roles and permissions to ensure only authorized team members have access to certain data,” Weiss added.
A True Partner
Advanced Navigation serves as an industry partner, expanding use cases to make new applications possible.
The utilization of a cloud-based mission planner, contributes to cost reduction in the development and management of extensive autonomous fleets. By capitalizing on the platform’s existing infrastructure and capabilities, businesses can streamline fleet development workflows and effectively decrease overall expenses.
Furthermore, CGC serves as an open development platform that empowers businesses to leverage open-source libraries and exercise flexibility in selecting their preferred technologies. With this platform and the new CGConnect cellular micro-modem, multiple uncrewed vehicles can work collaboratively across air, land and sea, allowing users to realize the full potential robotic technology offers.
About Cloud Ground Control
Cloud Ground Control (CGC) is a revolutionary cloud-based drone fleet management platform that expedites multi-user, multi-vehicle and multi-domain operations.
It allows pilots and mission planners to remotely command and control a swarm of uncrewed vehicles across air, land and sea through a web-browser, stream real-time video feed and telemetry, and easily access and manage captured data.
By providing full situational awareness in unfolding events, CGC plays a vital role in search and rescue, emergency response and disaster relief operations. Continuing to expand human capabilities in diverse missions, CGC is heralding a new era of drones and robotics endeavors.
For more information visit www.CloudGroundControl.com
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