Instant Eye Project Office
For information, please visit the InstantEye website: www.psitactical.com
PSI’s has developed InstantEye, an affordable, innovative small unmanned autonomous system (sUAS), which will become a vital surveillance tool for soldiers, civilian police forces, and border control. The vehicle can be easily stowed and deployed on-the-fly for examining roof tops, looking around corners, identifying IEDs or clearing mountain caves. Its quad-rotor design provides a nimble, hovering platform—ideal for carrying its two high-resolution cameras and combating windy/gusty environments. The vehicle returns real-time video and location information to its small ground controller.
InstantEye has forward and down-ward facing cameras. The downward pointing camera is ideal for overhead surveillance and tracking of objects. The forward facing camera is used to inspect doorways, investigate difficult to reach areas, and maneuvering within cluttered environments. Each camera is equipped with an infrared LED to enable covert night operations.
InstantEye’s greatest advantage is its reflexive autopilot and sensors, which allow for autonomous hovering around a GPS point while combating winds and gusts. The tiny vehicle uses the world’s smallest autopilot, which was developed at PSI. Several flight modes are used to control InstantEye including manual, altitude hold, and GPS hold. Manual mode allows the operator to fly the vehicle like an RC helicopter while collecting real-time video images. Altitude hold mode allows the vehicle to hover over the ground at a prescribed distance. GPS hold allows the operator to select GPS coordinates where the vehicle will hover even when the controller is put down. This is ideal for operators in the field who are looking for the location of an object..
InstantEye has been fabricated with the battlefield in mind. The 20cm frame is constructed of custom carbon fiber components and rods that make it robust to collisions and extreme conditions. High-use components such as the motors and propellers can be easily replaced if damaged. The quad-rotor can be used in covert operations. The motors are electric, so they are virtually inaudible at 50 ft and the vehicle is visibly indistinguishable at 100 ft. All electronics and cameras are waterproof, so InstantEye can be flown in any environmental condition.
The ground station is a battery powered, lightweight, handheld controller. It uses two joysticks and several mode buttons. A heads-up display shows GPS coordinates, flight altitude, and video from two cameras. The high resolution screen is readable in sunlight and has a sunshade for covert operations. This controller fits easily into an assault pack.
IN THE NEWS
The impressive technical performance created with InstantEye was demonstrated at Camp Roberts and received coverage on TV and on NPR. Also InstantEye was highlighted at NPS 'uber" technology event. Most recently in an sUAS News press release Moth drone stays rock steady in gale-force winds.
Read the January 2014 Popular Science Magazine article featuring PSI's Instant Eye: Rise Of The Insect Drones
The Tactical Robotics Group is led by Dr. Richard Guiler. Dr. Guiler joined PSI in 2008, as a Principal Research Scientist and a program manager for UAV research and development programs and the DARPA Rapid Eye program. Since joining PSI, Dr. Guiler has led a series of US Army and US Air Force research programs focused on creating Robust Bio-inspired robots and Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), which has culminated in the development of the PSI Robust MAV and the InstantEye MAV. Before joining PSI, Dr. Guiler was an aerospace engineer with management, research, aerodynamics, propulsion, and composites experience. Dr. Guiler earned a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University. His research was on the control of a swept wing tailless aircraft through wing morphing, which was funded by NASA Dryden Flight Research Center..
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