Sunday, February 24, 2008

KillBotCon - Major Defense Robotics Contractors To Meet In Orlando

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SPIE Defense & Security Symposium Features Unmanned Vehicles, Sensors, And Space Missions
Vision Systems Design

Displays and demonstrations of robotic and unmanned vehicle systems are among featured events planned for the SPIE Defense + Security conference in Orlando, FL, USA, next month. The event is the largest international unclassified defense-related symposium and draws engineers and researchers from industry, academia, government, and military labs throughout the world. It will be held in the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center, with professional-development courses running 16-20 March, technical conferences 17-20 March, and the exhibition 18-20 March.

Nearly 1700 technical papers will be presented in 45 conferences, and approximately 5300 attendees are expected to attend. Topics range from core defense-related technologies to dual-use applications in IR sensing.

Highlights among special events are a plenary talk by The Honorable Jay Cohen, Undersecretary for Science and Technology, US Department of Homeland Security, and an industry forum talk by Sir John Chisholm, executive chairman of QinetiQ and chair of the UK Medical Research Council.

Space exploration is one focus of plenary sessions, with talks on the deep-space flight of the Hayabusa Asteroid Explorer by Hitoshi Kuninaka and Junichiro Kawaguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and protecting the Moon's environment by Jeffrey Maclure of the International Academy of Astronautics and International Institute of Space Law. Other plenary topics are display content of night-vision goggles and helmet-mounted displays, and radar sensors and imagers.

More than 435 exhibitors will present hardware, systems, and services across a wide range of IR, imaging, optics, and sensors and sensor systems technology. Exhibiting companies include FLIR Systems, L-3 Communications, Santa Barbara Infrared, Axsys Technologies, SOFRADIR, Cedip Infrared Systems, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, and DRS Sensors & Targeting Systems.

The Robotics and Unmanned Systems Pavilion will feature vehicles from the DARPA Challenge autonomous-vehicle competition, robotics systems used by the US Army and Navy, and unmanned aerial vehicles currently used in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pavilion exhibitors will showcase the latest technology in IR imagers, sensors, and optics used by military robots and unmanned systems.

Symposium chairs are Larry B. Stotts, deputy director for strategic technology at DARPA, and Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Lockheed Martin and a member of the SPIE board of directors. More information is available online at

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