“The addition of these two companies introduces new robotics platforms and autonomous navigation systems to our robotics product line,” Dr. William Ribich, President and CEO of Foster-Miller explained. “With newly enhanced and diversified product offerings, I am confident that we will continue to grow our customer base in government and energy markets and continue our leadership in the military robotics industry.”
Foster-Miller is the largest provider of man-transportable robots to the Department of Defense and has delivered more than 1,000 TALON(R) robots to help find and neutralize improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Automatika and Applied Perception were both founded by faculty and graduates of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and Business School in Pittsburgh. According to Dr. Ribich, this is a prime example of how high-tech robotic companies tend to develop in the “centers of excellence” that traditionally grow around major universities. Foster-Miller, located in suburban Boston, MA., was founded more than 50 years ago by three graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Automatika, founded in 1995, provides invention, design, system prototyping, and product manufacturing for a wide variety of automated and robotic systems used in military and civil defense, oil and gas exploration, remediation and utilities inspection. Automatika’s best known robot is Dragon Runner, a 14-pound urban warfare robot that was co-developed with Carnegie Mellon University and funded by the U.S. Marine Corps. Dragon Runner is designed to be carried in a soldier’s backpack and can be tossed into buildings to facilitate remote reconnaissance.
Applied Perception, founded in 2001, develops standardized perception, planning and control software and development tools to support the navigation of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). Applied Perception’s software is JAUS (Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems) compliant and interfaces with radar and laser object detection systems, omni-directional cameras, and global positioning systems (GPS).
The Technology Collaborative, Pittsburgh’s non-profit robotics technology development organization, also played a key role in pairing Foster-Miller with Automatika and Applied Perception and expressed satisfaction with the successful completion of the sale. “We welcome, via these two transactions, the embedded presence of Foster-Miller in our growing cluster of agile robotics companies in Southwestern Pennsylvania,” said David Ruppersberger, President of The Technology Collaborative. “We anticipate that Foster- Miller’s leading position in the burgeoning government market for unmanned systems will be a great asset to Automatika and Applied Perception, as well as the other cutting edge robotics companies in the region.”
About Foster-Miller, Inc.
Foster-Miller, Inc. is an engineering, manufacturing and technology development firm principally located in suburban Boston, MA on Rte. 95, “America’s Technology Highway.” It is certified to Aerospace Quality Management Standard AS9100 and has SW-CMM Level 3 software certification from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Foster- Miller was founded in 1956 by three graduates of MIT who believed there was a need for a company that could solve clients’ difficult technical problems through first-class analysis and design. In November 2004, it became an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ North America (QNA). Visit http://www.foster-miller.com/ for further information.
About QinetiQ North America
QinetiQ North America provides world-class technology and responsive solutions to U.S. government customers. More than 5,000 engineers and technologists work in partnership with customers to develop innovative technology solutions to meet the challenges of national defense, homeland security and information access. QinetiQ North America is part of QinetiQ Group plc, one of the world’s leading defense and security technology companies. For more information, please visit http://www.qinetiq-na.com/.