The latest news about robots, robotics
Posted: May 23, 2013
First commercially available software that can control any drone or robot
(Nanowerk News) DreamHammer today announced the pre-general release launch of Ballista®, its drone control software. Ballista is an intelligent control platform that for the first time integrates unrelated unmanned drones and robots from different manufacturers into one system. The software is poised to become the industry standard for drone and robot control software for the multi-billion dollar global unmanned systems industry.
“Ballista is commercial, off-the-shelf software designed to the highest military and safety critical standards but goes beyond military applications to work with all unmanned drones and robots. When applied to different industries -- for example, transportation, logistics, agriculture, law enforcement, etc. Ballista can be used to link multiple drones into one master system, all controlled by one person,” said Nelson Paez, CEO of DreamHammer. “A drone could be as simple as a farm tractor or as complicated as an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle or a satellite. It can be anything with a computer interface that is leveraging intelligence, technology and diversified control.”
DreamHammer had revenues of $6 million, in 2012 and raised its first external funding to support that growth. DreamHammer has been licensing the software and providing support services to U.S. military and intelligence customers since August 2011. Previous releases that were only made available to U.S. military and intelligence customers were alpha and beta releases. The current pre-general release is now available to key drone/robot manufacturers and developers.
Managing multiple drones is a unique challenge, due to the fact that each drone type has proprietary control systems.
“In the past, anyone wanting a unified system had to develop the actual drone hardware. Ballista allows government or commercial customers to link together machines from numerous developers performing a variety of tasks,” Paez said.
He emphasized the efficiency of Ballista, stating: “Some unmanned systems take as many as 200 people to manage a single drone, much more resources than manned vehicles. Ballista allows a single user to manage multiple drones simultaneously.”
“The key to the future of drones and robots will be their ability to work together,” Paez said. “Until now, there has been no way to tie them together. Because Ballista is so intelligent and easy to integrate and operate, a user who previously required extensive training to manage one drone or robot can now manage multiple drones or robots simultaneously – all to achieve a single task or coordinated mission.”
Ballista is built on an open, versatile and all-encompassing software platform which allows for autonomous and simultaneous control of multiple unmanned vehicles across all domains – space, air, sea and land -- and can be run from nearly any computer including a tablet or a phone. Ballista includes an easy to use, robust software development kit (SDK) that can be licensed by developers to integrate their drones, robots and third party apps. Pricing depends on the end use.