New software allows remote multi-user and multi-drone navigation via browser, smartphone

software multi-user drone navigation

Australian software as a service company Advanced Navigation has developed a multi-user platform providing remote connection to, monitoring, and navigation of a single drone or swarms of over 1,000 vehicles using a simple phone app or web browser.

Sydney-based Advanced Navigation recently unveiled its Cloud Ground Control software, which allows multi-user and multi-drone connections to be made via 4G and 5G links from a smartphone app or computer. Establishing and managing those through its cloud-based platform, the system permits remote navigation of craft by pilots being fed real-time flight information from cameras in the craft, and positioning data locating each vehicle on a map, and – in the case of swarms – relative to one another. A user-friendly dashboard facilitates quick changes of screen views and data input to ensure efficient and safe operation.

Advanced Navigation has been developing artificial intelligence-enhanced navigation software for business and government clients for several years. But it was only in watching fire and rescue responders battling Australia’s catastrophic wildfires that company officials realized the potentials for a platform allowing the integration and management of multiple drones deployed as a fleet, or by different operators flying them in tandem.

The emergencies demonstrated the limitations of individual pilots flying craft in silo mode, and inspired the concept of a single, cloud-based, G4-connected, collective navigation system.

“We were working on a number of the most innovative robotics projects in the world and the one common element we found was that there was no good solution for monitoring and control over cellular networks,” recalls Xavier Orr, CEO and cofounder of Advanced Navigation. “We set out to solve that problem and create a reliable and secure cloud monitoring and control platform. Combined with our 4G/5G micro modem technology, the system allows robotics platforms to be onboarded in a flash.” 

The company says Cloud Ground Control will provide businesses, responders, and other operators multi-user and multi-drone connections; real-time video feed and telemetry; end to end encryption; built-in compliance; and cloud storage. 

As part of the product launch, the company partnered with Ripper Corporation, which oversees the development and deployment of specialized Little Ripper Lifesaver drones that have become a regular safety asset at Australian beaches. This week the pair simultaneously flew a fleet of Ripper Lifesaver drones spread out over over a 1,000km stretch of Sydney’s coastline using the unified platform. That more complete view from the sky, officials say, helps them get a better picture of where to intervene, and how.

“Cloud Ground Control has allowed us to gain better insights of what is happening on our beaches so our teams can make more informed decisions in emergencies,” notes Jason Young, CEO of Ripper Corporation.

The platform was developed for maximum ease of use, requiring little drone or tech knowledge to operate, and to function from a smartphone, laptop, or desktop from anywhere in the world. 

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