According to Markets and Markets, the global market for unmanned vehicles was worth $2.29 billion in 2015 and will likely reach $4 billion by 2020. Five small businesses, four at the Alamogordo Science and Technology Park and one in Albuquerque, are trying to capture a significant portion of this market with the
development of advanced unmanned mobile robots.
Two companies, Emerging Technology Ventures, Inc. and North Alabama Robotic Systems, Inc. (NARS), make unmanned vehicles for land, air, and sea. Motion Picture Marine, Inc. uses unmanned vehicles to create sequences for motion pictures like X-Men, Armageddon, and Star Trek. American Lithium Energy
Corporation manufactures lithium-ion batteries that power unmanned vehicles. Along with Albuquerque’s Silent Falcon (a developer of aerial unmanned vehicles), these companies joined forces to develop a technology capable of monitoring the health of battery packs for all kinds of unmanned vehicles. To help them realize this technology, company representatives met with NMSBA, which partnered them
with electrical engineer Von Trullinger at Sandia National Laboratories.
For the “smart battery manager,” Sandia advanced the battery-monitoring electronics and advanced algorithms that could be embedded within the battery’s hardware. They also improved the software designed to communicate withoperators via web page or Ethernet connection.
As a result, users can now monitor battery condition and historical data, enabling them to plan even more complicated and involved missions. As word has spread regarding this technology, the companies have received $2 million in new investments and added nine new employees.