Five Unmanned Start-Ups to Compete for $35K Prize

Photo: courtesy of Blue Vigil

Five companies will for compete for a $35K prize package in the final round of the AUVSI Innovation Challenge August 20 in Washington, DC.

The event is part of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI’s) conference: Unmanned Systems—Defense. Protection. Security.

During the event the firms will pitch their technologies to a panel of government officials and an audience of defense experts and industry representatives. The panel will ask questions of the contestants but the audience will select the winner.

The five finalist firms are:

Blue Vigila company that makes power tether systems, compatible with most commercial grade drones up to 10 kilograms, that can keep drones in the air for an unlimited flight duration.

FLITE Material Sciences, a New York-based company that works across different industries to reshape the surface layer of materials.

HyALTA Aeronautics Inc., a veteran-owned, small business that has developed patents to provide a unique combination of attributes of both a fixed wing aircraft and an LTA craft to allow for indefinite mission durations, low energy station keeping, and the ability to dash at relatively high velocities.

Pierce Aerospace, a Remote ID UAS Service Supplier (RID-USS) focused on practical and robust integration of Remote ID services into the UAS ecosystem. The company has developed Flight Portal ID, which provides a secure authentication system for remote ID for both civilian and military applications.

VyrtX, an Ohio-based company that is localizing the world through custody-chain logistics and autonomous systems.

The panel will comprise these six experts, according to AUVSI:

Moderator: Bill Thomasmeyer, Consultant, National Advanced Mobility Consortium

Chris O’Donnell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Platform and Weapon Portfolio Management, OUSD A&S

Reid F. McAllister,Director, Integrated Unmanned Maritime Mobility Systems, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division and Co-Lead, NAVSEA WFC Unmanned Vehicles and Autonomous Systems Working Group

Helen Greiner, Army HQE Robotics, Autonomous Systems, and AI, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) 

Paul Decker,Deputy Chief Roboticist, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Ground Vehicle Systems Center

Kristen R. Hajduk,National Capital Regional Director, NSIN – National Security Innovation Network, Department of Defense.