Editor’s Corner—Private wireless networks are quietly becoming a thing (Fierce Wireless)

For years now, a number of wireless players have been promising that there is demand among enterprises and others for private wireless networks. The argument is that utilities, cities, manufacturing companies and others have specific applications that can’t or shouldn’t run over public wireless networks, and so they will need to build their own networks—and will spend money to do it.

Specifically, Praxis Aerospace Concepts International (PACI) said it inked a long-term lease for Access Spectrum’s Upper 700 MHz A Block in remote locations in Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Jonathan Daniels, PACI’s CEO, said the company will use the spectrum to fly drones.

“I’m pretty excited,” Daniels said.

Turns out there’s some reason to be excited. The Federal Aviation Administration generally doesn’t allow drone pilots to fly the gadgets into places where they can’t see them. But Daniels said PACI is one of only a handful of companies that has obtained authorization from the FAA to conduct “non line of sight” flying, largely due to the company’s use of 700 MHz spectrum that won’t suffer from interference from other users. That means that PACI’s pilots will be able to install cameras on their drones and fly the drones by watching the real-time video (transmitted over PACI’s 700 MHz network) from the cameras.

“It gets us a longer string for our telephone,” Daniels said of the 700 MHz spectrum PACI is leasing from Access Spectrum. He said he expects the drones to be able to fly 30 to 50 miles using the system.

Daniels said PACI is already in the process of building a wireless network for its drone flights, and is considering LTE and other wireless network technologies. He declined to name the company’s equipment vendors. He added that PACI plans to use the drones to conduct power line and solar farm surveys in the areas, as well as to offer drone flying classes for aspiring pilots.

Read the original story from Fierce Wireless here

City of Henderson: City of the Future

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc., located in Henderson because of the wide variety of office and warehouse locations available, and because it was separate geographically from both the Las Vegas Strip and the defense-focused areas in North Las Vegas, according to Jonathan Daniels, CEO.

Praxis works with ground-air-sea-industrial response robotics and unmanned systems in both civil/commercial and defense use. Daniels finds Southern Nevada a good fit because of the community.

“We have an extensive internship and apprentice program that has welcomed students from UNLV and [Clark County School District] schools. Several of our partner companies are also based in Henderson, so our location works well for face-to-face meetings and project collaborations,” said Daniels.

You can read the full article from Nevada Business Magazine here

Metal Rebel Tests Its Mettle

UNLV is among 25 of the world’s best robotics teams competing in the 2015 U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Challenge Finals, an elite competition of robots and their human supervisors, June 5-6 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

Metal Rebel at DRC Trials in Pomona (Photo Courtesy of UNLV)

With $3.5 million cash prize on the line, teams from academia, industry, and the private sector will test their robots with the goal of deployment as first responders in a disaster zone such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor incident.

UNLV’s Metal Rebel — a 5-foot-5-inch, 175-pound humanoid robot – will test its mettle against the likes of MIT, NASA and Lockheed Martin in a simulated one-hour course. With little or no human intervention, Metal Rebel will need to drive a vehicle, climb stairs, traverse debris-filled terrain, turn valves, and use power tools.

UNLV’s student/faculty team is led by Paul Oh, Lincy Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems and a renowned expert in robotics and autonomous systems. Oh is a former program director for robotics at the National Science Foundation and is helping UNLV and Nevada become a national leader in the autonomous systems industry. Joining UNLV on the team are students and one professor from Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, as well as professionals from robotics company Praxis Aerospace.

Read the full article from the UNLV Campus News here .

Teams test robots in Charleston for world competition

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Teams from around the world are testing robots in Charleston they designed to do amazing things. The robots can walk, open doors, drive vehicles, and pick up a drill to make a hole in the wall.

SPAWAR offered to host a testing of communications systems in a disaster setting, so teams came to Joint Base Charleston in Goose Creek to give their robots a workout.
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DRC-Hubo Team in Chalreston (Photo Courtesy of UNLV)

Read more and see the Local news media report here