Strategic use of 3D printing technologies by Stealth is enabling the rapid advancement of Intellectual Property and prototyping.
This technology is being utilised by the Stealth Autonomous Robotics Platform (AxV) as it develops autonomous vehicles.
The resulting robotic vehicles are designed to operate autonomously in the absence of people for extended periods, including in rugged and remote environments.
Three patent applications
Two of the new patent applications cover low-cost solutions developed by Stealth Technologies that greatly increase reliability and mitigates against system failures in autonomous robotic vehicles.
A third covers robots designed to automate perimeter security intrusion detection systems.
Intellectual Property (IP) covered by the patents has potential commercial use in security, mining and agriculture.
Stealth Technologies has collaborations with US$100 billion Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:HON) to develop an Autonomous Robotic Security Vehicle (ASV) for the correctional justice sector and with the University of Western Australia for Electric Vehicles.
The SOR subsidiary has the right to retain all IP it develops under these collaborations.
Redundant Compute Patent
A patent filing has been lodged to cover redundant compute technology developed in-house by Stealth Technologies.
Autonomous vehicles rely on their onboard compute to control driving and this is analogous to a ‘brain’, performing multiple critical roles including taking input from multiple sensors, determining the vehicle’s location, navigating and avoiding obstacles.
Failure of the ‘onboard compute’ is a catastrophic failure that could cause an accident or injury to people and to overcome this potential failure, Stealth has developed a low-cost innovative solution allowing the vehicle to seamlessly continue its missions.
Emergency Braking Patent
Onboard power failure is another critical event that could cause autonomous vehicles to continue under their momentum to roll forward or down an incline without the ability to brake.
A low-cost innovative solution has been developed to enable emergency braking for autonomous vehicles should power failure occur, activating brakes and bringing the vehicle to a halt.
Automated PIDS Patent
Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS) testing is a physical process required to be completed regularly to ensure PIDS are functioning properly and will detect intrusion attempts.
Testing is a mundane and repetitive task that can use significant human resources as facility perimeters often span for kilometres and can be infeasible to test manually, leaving facilities open to undetected intrusions through untested perimeters.
Stealth developed custom robotics built on top of its autonomous mobile platform to solve this problem, enabling a fully automated PIDS testing 365 days a year, 24 hours a day including at night.
This enables the testing of multiple technologies including microphonics, microwave, buried electromagnetic cable and photoelectric beams.
PIDS technologies are deployed across vast numbers of facilities worldwide that could potentially benefit from fully automated physical testing that the Stealth technology can provide to increase security and reliability without increasing operating costs.
Use of 3D printing
The Stealth Technologies team is using data computer-aided-design (CAD) software to direct hardware to deposit material, layer upon layer, in precise geometric shapes.
3D printing takes a digital 3D model and turns it into a physical object using a print head, nozzle or other printing technology.
Rapid prototyping has enabled the team to develop in days what could have potentially taken months.
The next steps for the Honeywell and Department of Justice collaboration are:
- Final validation and acceptance testing beginning Q3 2020; and
- To investigate the potential use in other facilities with some changes, ie using 4 or 5g networks.
While the ASV is under collaboration for the correctional justice sector with Honeywell, under the agreement, Stealth Technologies can market independently to sectors such as transport, energy, defence, government and utilities providing critical services.
Perimeter security enables security to protect employees and assets from unauthorised intrusion in sensitive areas.
The Global Perimeter Security Market is forecast to be growing quickly at CAGR of 12.0% over the forecast period 2020-2026, reaching US$282.26 billion by 2025.
Although the first release is in the form of the ASV for security, the underlaying technology is scalable to a range of vehicle shapes and sizes and custom robotics are adaptable to perform a variety of physical actions and tasks.
Further releases from the platform could be deployed for industries such as mining, agriculture and logistics.