DroneOS: How To Take Control Of The Country’s Growing Robot Army

By Caroline Rees / 17 May 2012
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DreamHammer's illustration of how its operating system for drones works

The Pentagon wants to build a robot army. Nelson Paez of DreamHammer hopes to make it as easy to operate as possible.

The Pentagon has a big command-and-control problem. Not insubordination among the troops. It’s that unmanned systems for land, air and sea—for which the military spent $6 billion-plus last year—can’t “talk” to one another. Every drone contractor builds proprietary control systems, making it impossible to integrate different machines or for the military to tinker with existing systems. “It can only be described as byzantine,” says retired Lieutenant General Dave Deptula, once the Air Force’s first deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and thus in charge of drones that have been deployed to devastating effect in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.

That’s great for drone builders. The unique software codes and operating features lock the Pentagon into an exclusive and expensive relationship.

Nelson Paez is trying to break that lock. His company, DreamHammer, has spent $5 million building an operating system, Ballista, that can link and control any kind of drone or robot, armed or unarmed. If the military adopts it, dronemakers like Northrop Grumman and Boeing would have to license Paez’s software so their unmanned systems could be plugged into the military’s.

Read the full article on the Forbes Magazine website

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact