AeroVironment gets $11.1 million order for hand-launched 4-pound Raven UAV. Same company makes the kamikaze drone (Switchblade) which explodes on impact and the hummingbird drone (Nano Air Vehicle) which was one of Time Magazine’s 50 New Inventions of 2011.
Navy opens cutting-edge lab for robotics and autonomous systems in Washington DC. This is where the new fire-fighting and damage control robots are being developed and robotic fueling of unmanned vessels is being tested.
These research centers are big businesses – like the Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI which handles about $1.1 billion annually and awards 30% to nearby private contractors.
Really interesting infographic about drones from InnovationNewsDaily includes comparisons and a history of deployment beginning in 2001 for the 1st military action to 2011 in Texas for a civilian drug raid.