Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) Experts Available for Interviews

Amazon took the news waves by storm this week, announcing that they are planning to deliver orders by unmanned aircraft. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are piloted either autonomously or remotely, and while they are best known for their past military uses, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that within five years there will be upwards of 7,500 UAVs used for civilian purposes in the US.

There is currently research under way into peaceful, beneficial uses of UAVs—work like that being done by Michigan Technological University and the Michigan Tech Research Institute, where researchers are looking into the use of UAVs for understanding the condition of transportation infrastructure like roads, bridges and culverts.

To talk with an expert on unmanned aerial vehicles, contact:Colin Brooks, senior research scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute[email protected]; office: 734-913-6858; cell: 734-604-4196or Tim Havens, assistant professor of electrical and computer [email protected]; office: 906-487-3115; cell 231-360-8444

Dr. Brooks specializes in remote sensing technology and geographic information systems (GIS). He is based at the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he heads the Environmental Science Lab. MTRI is a recognized leader in the research, development and practical application of sensor and information technology to solve critical problems in national security, infrastructure, bio-informatics, earth sciences and the environment.

Dr. Havens specializes in pattern recognition, machine learning, data fusion and intelligent robotics. His expertise lies in developing algorithms that use combined information from multiple sensors, most recently from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). He directs the Intelligent Robotics Lab at Michigan Tech, which focuses on developing autonomous multi-robot systems that accomplish tasks by sharing and combining information.

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