Urban Robotics was founded in 2003 in response to technology advances in consumer-based digital cameras. Our first technology demo consisted of handheld PDAs actively displaying live overhead imagery of the user via air-ground data links. By 2004, the first PeARL™ imaging sensors were installed and put to use on U.S. Army aircraft abroad. In addition, we provided reconnaissance imagery for DHS including imagery data for Hurricane Ivan.
In 2005, we ruggedized the PeARL™ system for military environments. Via the support of the U.S. Army, we expanded our algorithms for georeferencing and mosaicing. Urban Robotics also began integrating with 3D viewers (NASA Worldwind). Customers included the U.S. Army, FEMA, and U.S. Border Patrol.
As Urban Robotics’ advanced algorithms grew, so did the need for computational horsepower. In 2006, we introduced the first WulfPack™ Aerial and Ground Station Computer Clusters. These allowed for near-real-time processing of imagery in flight, as well as advanced post-processing with 24 hour turnaround time for 1000’s of images. Additional customers included the U.S. Navy, and DARPA.
In 2007, Urban Robotics’ cluster-based algorithms, imaging sensors and cluster computers were deployed to CENTCOM, where they now fly daily. Several iterations of hardware and software designs were performed in response to the challenging environmental and user requirements of war time deployment. On a daily basis, WulfPack™ clusters process thousands of 16 to 21 megapixel images from the moment of collect through
optimization, georeferencing, bundle adjustment, mosaicing, and exporting to Google Earth... all possible in under 24 hours.
In 2008, we introduced the TerraFlash™ processing service that enables customers with other sensors to rapidly process their own sensor data using the field proven WulfPack™ clusters and advanced TerraFlash™ algorithms. In so
doing, Urban Robotics brought technologies developed for advanced military ISR applications to domestic remote sensing and GIS customers. Operations and customers expanded to include domestic applications.