Apex: Air Force awards grants to UC, tech partner

UC will work with AI company VISIMO on unmanned aerial systems

The Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment or APEX highlighted a research partnership between the University of Cincinnati and a Pennsylvania company to develop new artificial intelligence algorithms using U.S. Air Force grants.

VISIMO, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the recipient of small business technology transfer grants totaling $2.2 million to develop new autonomous navigation systems for unmanned aerial vehicles and spherical robots called orbs.

Researchers in UC's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics will work with VISIMO to develop artificial intelligence algorithms for sense-and-avoid neural network architectures. This will allow the orbs or drones to perceive, learn, decide and act more efficiently and effectively on their own.

“We come up with novel approaches alongside subject matter experts from universities who inform the creation of our models,” Emma Lamberton, grants, and contracts manager at VISIMO, told APEX.

The Air Force has awarded more than $25 million in research and development grants to research institutions across the country.  According to APEX, the latest phase of grants is designed to bridge the "valley of death," the tricky period when a new technology project isn't quite ready for the marketplace but is too narrow in scope to draw additional attention from other research institutions that might otherwise help it mature.

Read the APEX story.

Featured pic at top: UC will work with Pennsylvania company VISIMO to develop new AI technology for drones and spherical robots called orbs. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand