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Latest unmanned vehicle show features both innovative new vehicles and miniaturization

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to review the 2008 AUVSI Conference and Show held in San Diego, California with emphasis on unmanned vehicles or service robots, their application on the ground, in the air and in the water. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The approach takes the form of in-depth interviews with exhibitors of unmanned vehicles and the providers of the technologies which are fundamental to their design and deployment. Findings ‐ The unmanned robotic vehicle industry is largely driven by government requirements, both military and civilian. Unmanned service robots are also found in commercial applications such as pipeline surveillance, crop monitoring and fish school location at sea. Practical implications ‐ Developers will be challenged to meet the need for improvements in speed, payload, sensor capabilities, autonomous operation and command and control of fleets of unmanned vehicles. Originality/value ‐ The paper offers insights into trends and new products in the unmanned robotic vehicle industry.
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Keywords: Armed forces; Control technology; Energy sources; Robotics; Surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 9, 2009

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