Posted by: robotnews | April 3, 2006

CyberBug UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vechicle)

Wang Huiwen Karen U0204982

CyberDefence Systems’s Cyberbug(TM) has the capability of providing routine surveillance and communication in crowded or remote locations. The CyberBug(TM) is a scalable unmanned aircraft that weighs between 2.6 to 14 pounds, which is approximately between 1.18 and 6.35 kilograms and could provide camera solutions for both day and night vision. It has the ability to fly on station in programmed or manual mode at speeds of 30 miles per hour for up to an hour with camera footprint 300×300 depending on day or night. The system is truly unique in that the control station is based upon XP/Visual-Basic software. The CyberBug(TM) does not require extensive instruction, technical backup or pilot training to operate and is capable of rapid deployment where it can be assembled by an individual and launched in 30 seconds.
This UAV is designed for both military and security surveillance. Because of the fact that the CyberBug(TM) is a silent vehicle, this battery-powered UAV could fly undetected into a hostile environment. The CyberBug(TM) allows users to view the data captured by sensor from a wireless product to any place in the world, thus providing a low cost solution to surveillance. This UAV has proven its capabilities with its successful deployment on Sunday April 17 2005 for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to monitor the 12th Annual Southern Maryland “Blessing of the Bikes” event held at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata. It was utilized as a surveillance vehicle to observe crowds for unruly behaviour, accidents and traffic problems within the area.
Recently Feb 01 2006, Cyber Defense’s CyberBug(TM) was chosen to complement the Gaston County Police Department. The UAV’s intended applications were to provide military ground forces with immediate and efficient surveillance from the sky. However, there are also ongoing testing and real-time demonstrations which are creating new possible uses for the CyberBug(TM). Search and rescue, traffic control and expanded investigations are a few of the possible uses for the CyberBug(TM). The CyberBug(TM) could serve to identify and track down possible threats to the environment such as forest fires or as security measures to deter crop tampering. The previous methods of tracking and surveying are accomplished mainly with multiple patrol cars, planes or helicopters, and all of which come with high maintenance and much greater expense. Several CyberBugs(TM) could be used in their places, offering faster and cheaper surveillance over a wide area of terrain. This allows forestry experts to distinguish possible environmental threats immediately, gaining accurate topographic information and reducing potential threats to the area.
In addition to that, the CyberBug(TM) had been presented as a security solution for the U.S. military in Iraq where the person monitoring for hostile activity could be located in the US but with the ability to notify forces in Iraq of potential areas of concern, providing control of the cameras as well as the operation of the vehicles.

I find that this Cyberbug(TM) is a great innovation especially with its capabilities to move area places undetected and mostly importantly it is a cost effective solution. As compared to the usual bulky surveillance vehicles, this UAV is lighter and easier to deploy with minimal instruction. Therefore, I believe that in future to come, it would serve to provide more solutions for Gaston County Police Department. However, i think it would be better if the CyberBug(TM)’s battery is able to last for a longer duration since some remote places would need a longer time frame to comb.
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Responses

  1. U0308345 Ng Sing Joo

    This Cyberbug UAV is definitely a good invention as it is small and light weight. UAV generally comes with obstacle avoidance algorithms and GPS to achieve autonomous flying capabilities. The current phase of the UAVs are for survellience purposes but ultimately, it will lead to fighter jets like the F16 being totally autonomous too. Therefore in view of this, we need to rely on more sensors, better obstacle avoidance algorithms and control systems to achieve it. While it will take a whole lot more of research for this to happen, this UAV is definitely a step towards this direction.

  2. I concur with what Karen and Sing Joo had said. It does has its pros such as acting as a surveillance vehicle to observe crowds for unruly behaviour, accidents and traffic problems within the area, but this could also means that terrorists can use it as a form to observe the traffic and then plant a bomb. And this could be disastrous.

  3. Oh Ai Ni Irene U025732N

    Actually I do not understand how the image transfer works. Apparently the UAV does not have built-in hard disk or other storage medium, therefore the images are transfered by satelite communications to the operator?

    It is crucial that this device does not store any information on its own. Otherwise it will be disastrous if the enemy troops capture the UAV.

  4. U0205159 Du Xing

    Our own SAF has developed a few similar small and light-weight UAV which are designed to be controlled by soldiers using remote controls.

    They are fitted with image capturing devices (such as infra red sensors)and mainly used for overhead surveillance, remote sensing, communications relay and ultimately “fly-on-the-wall” surveillance.

    As far as I know data are not stored on the UAV but instead transmitted back to the soldier controlling it (and perhaps viewed simultaneously on a screen).

    I’m not sure how autonomous the Cyberbug is, but I feel that the one used by SAF is not exactly a robot as it is still mostly maneuvered by humans.

  5. u0300654 Li Junbin

    UAV is a popular research topic currently in many government-linked companies like DSO or ST Aerospace.

    Normally, the images from the UAV are sent back to the control base station. An operator will be inside the control station to monitor them.This is roughly how it works for the transmission part.

    Of course I agree with Duan Neng that terrorist might make use of UAV to create a catastrophe. However, in engineering there is a saying, “A solution to a problem will alway create more problems”. That is why we are here for as engineer! (To solve problems), without problems probably we will be out of jobs! haha


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